Dear Parents and Carers
COVID-19 Update – Termly Roundup
This week the Government has announced that they have withdrawn their plans for all children to return to school prior to the summer holidays and we are writing to update you on the impact this will have on Foundry Lane and its community.
As we said in our earlier letter, we would love to see all of our children return to school but this is clearly not going to be achievable prior to the summer. We would like to start by thanking all the members of our community for their support over the past four months. This has been a difficult time for many members of our community and we have really appreciated your patience and understanding as we undertake the challenging task of safely re-opening the school.
We have, and will continue to follow the guidance issued by the Government and Public Health England throughout this pandemic. We feel that this guidance, backed by the country’s top scientific advisors, will make our community the safest that it can be. This guidance includes prioritisng the return of Year R and Year 1 at the same time as supporting provision for key workers as safely as we can. “Children in Reception and Year 1 are at the very beginning of their school career and are mastering the essential basics, including counting and the fundamentals of reading and writing, and learning to socialise with their peers. We know that attending early education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and supports children’s social and emotional development." Following the guidance, our next priority will be the return of Year 6 pupils in order to support their transition to secondary school. We will be in touch with Year 6 parents shortly to finalise our plans for their return. We do have plans in place which will impact all year groups and are pleased to share these with you. Please take time to read these and if you have any questions, please do call the school office or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key Worker Groups
We now have a total of 7 bubbles of key worker children which are established within school. These groups are almost at capacity and we have very little flexibility to accommodate many more children. In order to continue to safely provide for our children of key workers, it is imperative that the weekly booking form is completed by the deadline of 9am each Thursday please. We do not have any flexibility in moving children between groups as these must remain consistent.
Year R & 1
It’s been a genuine joy to see so many of our Year R and 1 children returning to school over the last week and we are immensely proud of how well they have adapted to the new normal in school and how resilient they have been. Thank you to all of our parents of children attending in these year groups for being so understanding and supportive of the changes and processes we have put in place. As with our key worker groups, we are now nearing capacity within Year R and 1. The majority of the remaining capacity we have will be within a blended Year R and 1 class. As we approach our capacity we may not be able to accommodate requests for children in Year R and 1 to return so we would urge you to contact us if you now wish to request a place as we don’t have many spaces left .
Following a comprehensive review of our available classrooms, staffing and outdoor spaces, we are working towards a return for Year 6 from Monday 22nd June. It is however important to note that for safety reasons and in line with our risk assessment, there is a limit to the amount of children we can safety accommodate. As we have limited space on the school site at lunchtime it is likely that Year 6 provision will run from 8.30am to 1.00pm. To help us make informed decisions about Year 6 returning, please complete the form below to indicate whether or not you would wish your child to return. We will be in touch next week to finalise arrangements.
Years 2 – 5
It is with genuine sadness that we definitely won’t be able to welcome back our children in years 2 – 5 prior to September. We know the children, and most likely parents, will be disappointed with this news but with the children of key workers, years R, 1 and 6 returning we will have over 250 pupils on the school site. We do not have the capacity to welcome back any other year groups under the current health and safety guidance. However, we want to maintain contact with these year groups and so we are aiming to set up weekly Zoom sessions for each class in these year groups to give them an opportunity to meet virtually with their teachers and classmates. Further details about these will be shared early next week. These won’t be formal teaching sessions but short, fun sessions where teachers can share an age appropriate activity with their class, for example a story, a quiz or something similar. We will ensure that individual year group sessions run at different times to ensure families with multiple children across different year groups aren’t competing for the same technology at home at the same time. Zoom is a free application which can be used on all mobile devices and computers. Details of the weekly sessions will be emailed to parents. It is very important that you ensure we have an up to date email address for you to be able to receive details of these sessions.
Transition to New Year Groups
One of the key activities that we would normally be planning for this half term of is transition into new classes for the following school year. Once our staffing for next year is confirmed, we will share with parents who your child’s new class teacher will be; we are aiming to share this information in early July in line with our normal annual timing. Annual reports will be shared towards the end of July just before we break up for the summer holidays. We will also have a “virtual transition week” where we will be arranging for children to spend time in their new classes with their new teachers, again this will be done via Zoom sessions. Further details of these will be shared nearer to the time.
Home Learning Packs
We will continue to provide home learning packs until the end of this term. The current packs were issued on Monday 8th June and cover the period until Friday 19th June. New packs will be issued on Monday 22nd June and Monday 6th July. As before, packs can be collected from the Imperial Avenue entrance each day between 10am and 2pm. We know how much time and effort children have put into completing these learning packs and it’s been fantastic to share some of this work via the school newsletter and on year group pages on the school website. For safety reasons we won’t be able to collect all packs back in to school. However, we want to ensure the children have something to remember their time at home learning during lockdown. We will be sending home a couple of plastic wallets to each child with their final home learning packs. We would ask that they select their top ten favourite pieces of work and place these in the plastic wallets. We will also include reflection sheets for the children to capture their thoughts and memories of their time in lockdown. Please bring these back to school when the children return and we will put these in their Records of Achievement. Records of Achievement are added to each year they are in school and presented to them when they leave in Year 6. It’s a lovely record of their time with us at Foundry Lane.
In their briefing on Wednesday, the Government announced they are working towards a full return for all pupils to school in September although it’s important to note that this is still not confirmed. This will be kept under review by the Government and we would expect further guidance to be issued to schools around this over the coming weeks. If you have any questions regarding this update, please do call the school office or email email@example.com
The Senior Leadership Team at Foundry Lane
David Higlett, Chair of Governors