Is that really Half Term on the horizon…?

Dear Families,

I hope that you are all safe and well. I am writing to you to update you on our initial plan.

Just to reiterate what we are proposing to do:

School will reopen for children of keyworkers, Year 6 and Year 1 on June the 1st as proposed by the government. At this stage, there is still a huge degree of uncertainty about whether the return will happen from that date. Indeed, only on Monday, it was announced that the government will only make the final decision, when the latest scientific evidence has been reviewed on 28 May. However, we must continue to plan ahead in the very safest way possible.

I am aware that the guidance has asked for the children to be in groups of no more than 15, however, our classrooms can only safely accommodate approximately 8 or 10 children, when adhering to social distancing guidelines. I must make it clear at this stage that Mrs Tweedale or Mrs Whittet will not be taking the groups when we return and Mrs Courtman-Stock will only have one group for 2 days. The children will remain in the same groups, with the same member of staff, throughout the school day. If for any reason that we don’t have a member of staff for a group then we won’t be able to open for that group – again, only key worker children. We have staggered drop off and pick up times, as well as break and lunch times, to avoid large groups being in the same place at the same time.

As Parents we ask you:

  • Do not send your child into school if they are unwell or show any symptoms of illness and to inform us as you would do normally.
  • Do not enter the school with your child.  We want to minimise contact with others inside the building.
  • Children will not need to wear uniform but will need to be in clean suitable sports clothes each day.
  • Please bring a labelled water bottle and packed lunch (if not being provided by the school)
  • The expectation remains that children follow our school rules and this is now ever more important so that no-one’s behaviour increases the risk of cross-contamination.

In case you have forgotten, as all weeks are merging in to one at the moment, it is half term the week beginning 25th May. There will be no remote learning during this time and we ask you to enjoy this free time and make the most of the sunshine! FSM vouchers will not be supplied for this week. From the 1st June, this scheme starts up again and you will continue to receive the vouchers unless your child will be in school – where they can then access their normal school lunch.

Thank you for continuing to let us know how you are getting on with your Home Learning activities. I hope this continues to happen as it really does brighten myself and the staff’s day. As I have said, many children learn in different ways and it has been lovely to see and hear about all the things that you and your children have been doing.

I fully appreciate that these past eight weeks have been extremely difficult for everyone and we as a school have had to make lots of changes because of Government guidelines. Hopefully the changes to accessing unlimited exercise will help with getting outdoors more and enjoying the sunshine.

Undoubtedly, this initial plan will not satisfy everyone, but we must begin somewhere. The health and safety of our staff and children in school is our absolute priority and it simply cannot be compromised. We will, of course, continue to review things and as increased numbers of staff return to school, we can begin to welcome back children in other specified year groups, but only when it is safe to do so. What we all want more than anything is to welcome back every single one of our children with open arms and for life to return to normal. That will happen eventually, if we do the right things now.

Please remember that the return to school from 1 June is still only a proposal. Things are changing daily and I will keep you updated over the coming days and weeks. Thank you once again, for the overwhelming support that you have continued to show us.

Thank you for being so supportive of all that we have been doing and I hope that you feel that we have also been here to support you in many ways. As we move forward into the next phase, I know that this will bring new challenges but please be assured that everything we do as a school has the safety of all pupils, parents and staff at the heart of it.

Take care and be kind to yourselves. You are doing an amazing job!

Sinead Connolly