I hope you are all safe and well at this difficult time. At least the sun continues to shine and we have been able to make the most of the slight easing of the lockdown measures.
As I am sure you can imagine, we have spent the last two weeks since I wrote to you making sense of and putting plans in place for the partial extension of school opening. The School Governing body met last night to approve these plans. In line with Government guidance, in this first phase we are opening to children in Reception ONLY, NOT Year 1 at this time.
We have set up the required “bubbles” of no more than 15 children to teach those in Reception who have expressed an interest in returning. At the same time, we have had to manage the safe grouping of the growing number of Key Worker and Vulnerable pupils from Year 1 and Year 2 who need a place.
We have completed a comprehensive risk assessment to minimise risks to the health of pupils and staff but there are no guarantees around this. The school governors have then had to hold a virtual meeting to consider and agree that the planning is in place to extend the numbers attending school.
We still do not have confirmation that the extension of school opening will happen on 1st June as the government want to ensure that the data supports this action. I expect the announcement may well be at the end of half term.
Next week is the May half term holiday and the school will be closing to all pupils. This is to give school staff a well-needed break and to enable us to ensure that the site meets the new health and safety requirements for the possible increase in pupil numbers. Furniture needs to be rearranged and resources limited to those that can be easily cleaned. School is going to look very different to all of us who return in June at least for a while longer. Some of the routines around arriving at and leaving school will have to change along with the timings of the school day. These have been communicated separately to parents of children who may return in early June.
After half term we will continue to provide home learning through Tapestry and on the website for children who are not in school in all three year groups. Teaching in school will follow the same planning. We continue to be amazed by how hard our families are working and are so impressed with the Tapestry uploads. It is lovely to see the children learning and playing. Teachers will also make contact with the children still at home early in June to catch up with them and answer any questions that you all may have.
Hopefully the sun will continue to shine on us all. I will of course provide an update as soon as any new information is available.
Jo Davenport and the SWIS team