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5th June 2020

Dear Families

 

I do hope that you have had a restful half term and that you have been able to enjoy some sunshine in a safe way. As you are aware, we opened our schools to Year 6 in a phased and responsible group system on 1st June. Children attended between 9.30am and 2pm and the children all sat at 2m socially distanced tables and undertook tasks from the Learning Platform. As per our Governing Body letter before half term, all arrangements will be reviewed on 10th June and a letter will follow with updates following that meeting.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to those who have shared pictures, crafts and other pieces. The lockdown diary entries are such a pleasure to see, I am really pleased the half term ‘Borrower Project’ had so many of you enthused, it has been lovely to see your creations. Thank you for continuing to update us, I am looking forwards to reading the finished lockdown diary and our teachers have loved seeing what the children have been doing. It has been a great talking point during their weekly phone calls. 

 

Transition Update

Senior Team and Phase Leaders continue to work on year group appropriate transition plans. This is complicated by the variables which need to be accounted for. Will the Government direct all schools to open to all children ahead of September? Will the ‘R Value’ increase and schools remain accessible to only a few children? It is a daily discussion for all schools and families, I am sure!

 

So, I am currently considering a broad selection of options for a ‘new normal’ pre-end of summer term return, as well as a new whole school start in September. I will, of course write in detail to all our families once I have distilled all of the thinking of this subject and heard from Government re their plans. I know it is a very anxious time, but please be assured that we are trying to measure as many variables as possible and ultimately put all of our children at the very heart of our decision making.

 

Staffing lists will be circulated to all families once our full transition plan is in place. This may take time, but I am keen that all families are confident that this has been well thought out and that it is right for our children’s needs. Please be assured that my plans will include an opportunity for your child to meet their new teacher. However, I think it is highly unlikely that our children can be guaranteed to meet their new teacher in the traditional sense before the end of term. As part of our transition planning, we are investigating the possibility of video introductions for classes and tours of their new classroom. This would be in addition to the bespoke work that is currently underway for our vulnerable children. I will ensure that every child will ‘see’ their new teacher in some way. I will also share transition plans in full when I have them.

 

Secondary transition for Y6 – We are still awaiting a clear picture re transition for Y6 and will let parents know as soon as we have been informed. I know that some schools are planning virtual visits and have sent letters to parents. I know that all schools are working hard to get the right transition package together in these unprecedented times.

 

General Update

Teaching staff and TAs have three main roles at the moment, these include; working in school on a rotation. (to enable ‘blocked time’ of self-isolation away from school), planning for the future curriculum or are working on the Partnership Learning Platform. This is in addition to their pupil calls and TA home reading. Thank you again for the wonderful response and feedback. It really lifts the moral of all of our community to know that our families value the work that we do.

 

Clean schools - We have invested in a sterile fogging machine which is used to sterilise rooms, furnishing, carpets and equipment following normal cleaning routines. I am hoping that the addition of this piece of kit, used in hospitals I am informed, will aid the maintaining of a safe space for all of our school community. Thank you to our sites and cleaning team for your continued fastidious cleaning.

 

Office Teams have been placed on a rota to keep them in a safe ‘bubble’. Our office is now manned daily on a rota basis with other members continuing to work from home as it is safe to do so. Thank you to our team who continue to beaver away, keeping all of our vital systems going.

 

Food. We continue to support our local foodbank. If you have any spare, non perishable food please do drop in with it to Holy Family Church.

This past few months of Covid19 has shown that our communities are strong and I hope that going forwards the great gains we have made or the bonds we have strengthened remain. A very large thank you to our volunteer workers at the basics food banks.

 

Y6 Residential – Thank you for your continued patience. Although it looks increasingly unlikely we will be permitted to travel, we are awaiting our insurance company’s advice. As soon as we have full advice we will be able to contact individual families directly. We will do this as soon as possible.

 

General Refunds - I know that some families pay ahead for lunches etc We plan to credit all accounts forwards into next term. If your child is in Year 6 and therefore not able to have an account rolled forwards, then we will cxall individual families to refund accounts via the original card purchased or via BACS. No cash refunds are ever available in school as this is not allowable under Local Authority Guidelines. Thank you for your patience.

 

I intend to keep up my weekly updates until we resume some sort of normalcy. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and I thank families for welcoming the weekly news into their homes. Do continue to stay safe and well. Many thanks for your support.

 

Yours sincerely

Gerida Montague

 

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