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COVID-19 Parental Update - 8th June

8th June 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers

 

Thank you for your support in our efforts to start the re-opening of the school. With your support, and with the incredible hard work of all the staff, we now have over 150 children back in school and, so far, everything is running smoothly and everybody is safe.

 

This has not been an easy task. We have had to put a rigorous risk assessment in place and follow over 150 pages of government guidance. We have had to re-plan almost every aspect of the way that the school is organised.

 

I think it is important to remember why we are going to these efforts. Whilst it would appear that things are going in the right direction and that some aspects of life are starting to return to something nearer to normal, we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. It is vital that we prevent the Coronavirus from starting to spread again and that we all work together to continue to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

 

This has been our primary objective in re-organising the school. By putting the children in small consistent groups and preventing those groups from coming into contact with each other we can ensure that everybody is safe. We can also ensure that if there were an outbreak in our community that we would know exactly who each person has been in contact with, our own version of track and trace. This will allow us to quickly contain any outbreak and limit its impact.

 

In order to do this we have had to move away from our usual classes and put the children in small consistent groups of no more than 15. These groups learn together, play together and even eat together to prevent cross contamination. This means that we cannot always put children with their existing teachers. It also means that we cannot move children between groups. Moving children completely undermines our attempts to prevent any crossover.

 

Unfortunately, the biggest impact of opening in this way is that we simply cannot have all of our children back in school. We have a limited number of classrooms, a limited number of play spaces and a limited number of teachers. Whilst we desperately want all of our children to return, this is something that we simply cannot do safely at this time. Having too many children in school risks undoing everything that we have all achieved, through the lockdown, to bring the virus under control.

 

I recognise that these arrangements make life difficult for some families, especially when parents are trying to return to work. We would love to be able to support every family, but this is simply not possible at this time.

 

Hopefully, if we all work together the situation will quickly improve and we can look forward to re-opening schools normally. In the meantime, please continue to work with us. It has been so good to hear all the messages of support during the lockdown and it has been obvious how our community has been pulling together to look after each other. This needs to continue.

 

  • Please continue to observe social distancing on the school site, be considerate of other people when you are queueing to get in and when you are moving around.
  • Please follow the instructions and queue in one direction. It is important that everybody approaches the gates from the same direction.
  • Please observe our one way system. It is there to keep everybody safe, only enter and leave by the correct gates, hand over your child as quickly as possible and leave the site promptly.
  • Please be on time. It is taking a massive effort to get all the children, parents and siblings onto and off the school site every morning and afternoon. It is vitally important that everybody follows the system and sticks to the agreed times. Please bring children in different year groups at the agreed separate times.
  • Please bear with us as we organise the children into groups. We cannot put every child in the group that they want with the friends that they want. We will try our best, but it won’t always work out. We cannot move children between groups once these have been established.
  • Please don’t let your child bring anything from home except their lunch, a named water bottle, a sun hat and a fruit or vegetable snack for the morning. Due to allergies in school, please don’t send in cereal bars, snacks containing seeds or nuts and oranges.
  • Please only come to school to collect work packs between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm to avoid drop off and pick up times.

 

I recognise that these arrangements are not always convenient, however, please work with us to keep everybody safe.

 

We are trying to communicate as much as possible but a small number of parents are not getting communications. The only way that we can communicate efficiently with all parents is through email. If you are not receiving emails, please check that we have the correct, up-to-date, email address. We always put all communication on the website as well, just in case. Please keep checking the website if you are unsure of any arrangements.

 

Thank you again for your support and consideration. We look forward to the time when we can welcome you all back.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Sean Taylor

 

Headteacher