Dear Parents and carers.
Apologies for the length of this, please read carefully through.
It is a rare privilege to educate your children and one that we take very seriously, uncovering and nurturing the talents of your children is both a passion and a vocation. Over the last 10 weeks, we have been in the midst of a worldwide pandemic that has changed society as we know it. In those 10 weeks we have stuck to our values and thought carefully about how we deliver learning in partnership with parents. We have handed out laptops, we have phoned homes, created on-line learning and live events too. On top of all this we have tried to keep our community together by delivering daily Assemblies and Worship and ensuring our website has been up to date and fun. I have had so many wonderful compliments from all sorts of people about how brilliant the website has been!
Last Thursday the Government announced that they believed the 5 tests had been met and that they felt it was safe to further open schools to more children, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. These 5 tests are:
1. Making sure the NHS can cope
2. A 'sustained and consistent' fall in the daily death rate
3. Rate of infection decreasing to 'manageable levels'
4. Ensuring supply of tests and PPE can meet future demand
5. Being confident any adjustments would not risk a second peak that would overwhelm the NHS.
Over the last three weeks we have been working with the Local Authority and Governors to develop a comprehensive opening plan and risk assessment. These have been approved by the Local Authority and Governors who agree, they are as good as they can be. This does not mean that the school environment is totally risk free but that we are working hard to minimise the risks of Covid 19 outbreaks. There is still some debate about how safe the return to school is, however we have been told to make arrangements for it and will do so with our usual vigour and enthusiasm while following the guidance set out by SAGE:
· Controlling the transmission of the disease: minimising contact with children and adults who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school.
· Management and control through personal hygiene: cleaning hands more often than usual - wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered.
· Ensuring good respiratory hygiene: promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
· Enhanced cleaning regimes: cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach.
· Minimising contact and mixing: altering, as much as possible, the environment (such as classroom layout) and timetables (such as staggered break times).
The next seven weeks will be equally challenging for all of us in different ways. Some children will be coming back to school tomorrow and all of those parents have had phone calls to run through the new procedures for schooling. If you have not been informed you have a place please do not just turn up, unfortunately you will be sent away because we will not have provision for your child(ren). The next survey will come out shortly to gather numbers.
Many children will still be at home and it is vital that we continue to work with parents in educating ALL our children. Staff, both in and out of school, from this week have been asked to deliver more live learning opportunities where children can more fully engage. We hope this works well. We do not underestimate the continuing challenge of home education and we thank you for your support.
Everybody has a part to play in the return and keeping us all safe relies heavily on parents also taking responsibility for social distancing outside of school. You must also ensure that if anyone in your family shows symptoms’ you immediately report this to the Track and Trace system and also to school.
I’m sure those returning to school tomorrow will feel nervous this is perfectly understandable but I can assure you that staff are determined to create a wonderful, enjoyable and supportive learning experience.