Friday 22nd May 2020
Dear Parents / Guardians,
We are writing to you to inform you of our decisions regarding the opening of our school. These decisions have not been taken lightly and at the forefront of every single one has been the safety and care of your children and our staff.
From the poll on our website, only 24% of parents have said they would send their children back to school before the end of the summer term. If our teachers are in school with just a quarter of their class, that leaves most children at home without access to the current provision, as they cannot do both. This has also had an impact on our decisions.
We are fortunate to be in a unique position from many schools across the Country. Our teachers and support staff have continued to work their normal hours, planning and preparing exciting learning opportunities that your children access via their iPads and Tapestry (Cherry Class). The teachers often send videos to the classes, they interact daily with their children and the older ones can talk to their classmates every lunchtime (if they have completed their morning work!). Therefore, when we all hopefully return in September, our children will be in a better place academically than their peers from other schools. However, we are aware that some children will need additional support in order to catch up and there will be topics that could not be taught effectively online. We are already organising catch-up programmes that we will begin in the Autumn Term so that “no child is left behind.”
Reception (Cherry Class) and Year 1 pupils
There are currently several key staff in Reception and Year 1 who are unable to return to school under the present situation. They are, as you know, planning, preparing and delivering excellent activities to enable the children to continue with their learning. If we opened to all Reception and Year 1 children, we would have to split them into small groups across the school and many children would have adults they are unfamiliar with looking after them. The children would have to adhere to the 2-metre rule (which would be difficult), they would not have access to shared resources they are used to and we feel many would become distressed. Therefore, we have decided not to open Cherry class and Year 1 but to continue with the fabulous work Mrs Sharp, Miss Harrison and their teams are doing. This is only up until the end of the summer term.
However, if your child is in YrR or Y1 and you are really struggling or are needing to go back to work, places may be available. If you are needing a place, please call the office between 10am and 1pm after half term. All requests must be made by Friday 5th June so groups can be organised. Places are not guaranteed but we will do our best. Unfortunately, we cannot provide lunch so you would need to provide them with a packed lunch. However, if this is a problem for you, please let us know and we will do our best to supply. Please note, breakfast and after school club will also not be available until September.
The government have chosen Year 6 as one of the first groups of children to return to school. They have done this because they are concerned that many children feel isolated and have had little or no interaction with their peers. As they are moving on to secondary school soon, it was felt that they needed guidance and support ready for their change of setting. However, your children have been fortunate enough to be able to continue with their studies and have daily lunchtime contact with their classmates. The school is in contact with the High schools, providing all the necessary information to ensure the best possible transition. Therefore, should you choose not to send your child to school before the end of the term, we feel your child would not be disadvantaged. However, should you wish to send your Y6 child to school, you can book a place using the information below.
We are in the process of organising an ‘end of primary school’ afternoon for all Y6 children. This will, of course, be organised using the social distancing rules. Even if your child is not attending school, they will still be invited to that. A gift will be presented to the children as a memento on that day. Please note, breakfast and after school club will also not be available until September.
Key Workers in Years 2, 3 4 & 5 plus EHCP children
If you would like your child to return to school and all adults in the household are key workers, please follow the guidance below. Places will only be available for the days you are required to be in work.
Also, if your child has an EHCP, we still feel that the majority are best placed to stay amongst their families at this time. However, if you would like a place and your child has 1-1 support, please note that the staff will be on a weekly rota and not the child’s usual support worker. Please note, breakfast and after school club will also not be available until September.
Booking a place at school.
The first official day school we propose to open is Monday June 15th. This is providing the government meets the 5 key tests. If things change, we will let you know.
If you meet the criteria above and would like to book a place, please call the school office week beginning Monday 1st June 2020. Please call 01509 267876 between the hours of 10am and 1pm. The deadline to book a place is Friday June 5th at 1pm.
If you are given a place, we will let you know the week beginning 8th June. You will then be given social distancing advice, our risk assessments and allocated a group name ready for the return. You will need to provide your child with a packed lunch. (children with FSM will still be in receipt of food vouchers).
Julie Harvey Alison Dawes Bev Bambrough
Headteacher Deputy Head Chair of Governors