I am emailing you to give you a brief update about our phased return of children to school to date, and also share with you our plans for the forthcoming weeks, up to the end of the summer term.
It was a delight to see the Reception children return to school last week, and so joyous to listen to more children’s voices and hear their chatter and laughter around school. Despite all the weeks of being distanced from school, there were no tears from the young children as they happily entered their classroom and met with their teachers again. A happy occasion all round.
This morning we welcomed the Year 1 children and, again, it was wonderful to see their excitement and happy faces as they came into school. It is heartening to begin to see school resume its normal life again – albeit in small ‘bubble’ sizes.
So, we turn our thoughts to next steps.
I have hesitated sending out this information in light of Boris’ expected announcement on Tuesday, but decided that, on balance, it would be better for you to have sight of our plans for all children to return as soon (and as safely) as possible. Should Boris throw another curve ball into the mix, I will review our arrangements ASAP (again!).
Having established which children of critical workers we will need to accommodate, we believe that as the take-up from 'eligible children' is lower than expected, we have additional space. Therefore we can welcome more children back into school sooner, starting with Year 6.
Although (as I write) the DfE is no longer placing an expectation on primary schools to welcome back any additional year groups, governors and I do believe very strongly that it is in the best interests of the children in Years 2 – 5 that they are also offered the chance to return to school. For their emotional health and well-being we believe that even a part-time offer will help them to bring some closure to this period of distancing from school and its routines and will help them feel more connected to the school, their peers and their teachers. For all children, this should make returning to their ‘typical’ school experience in September easier and help minimise anxiety and worries about what to expect.
The plan for all children returning before the end of the summer term does mean children returning on a part time basis (unless restrictions ease) which may not be popular with all parents, especially those with children in Reception and Year 1 who have recently established some element of routine. It is our hope that parents who feel like this do also understand the real benefit for every child in our school to have the opportunity to return and are charitable enough to support our plan.
So this, then, is the plan for children from 29th June:-
Week commencing 29th June:
In addition to YR & Y1 who have been ‘phased’ back, all Year 6 children are welcomed back full time, for this week and will be accommodated in the hall in two distinct, socially distanced groups. NB: Children of critical workers will be able to continue full time (Monday to Friday).
Weeks commencing 6th July & 13th July
All years (Years YR – Y6) will be split into class bubbles (of no more than 15) and each bubble offered part time attendance each week of 2 days. NB: Children of critical workers will be able to continue full time (Monday to Friday).
Choice of ‘bubbles’ will be either a ‘Monday & Tuesday’ bubble, or a ‘Thursday & Friday’ bubble.
YEAR 1 ONLY: As the number of children who have returned is small enough (i.e. is less than 15), these children may continue to attend school every day, Monday to Friday during these two weeks. However, should more Y1 parents want their child to return, the part time arrangements will need to be applied to Y1 too.
Wednesday will be used to deep clean school and prepare for the next bubbles. NB: Children of critical workers will be able to continue full time (Monday to Friday).
Parents may express their preference for which two days and we will do our best to accommodate your requests as much as we can. Choice of ‘bubbles’ will be either a ‘Monday & Tuesday’ bubble, or a ‘Thursday & Friday’ bubble. Please email your preference to the class email addresses:-
Reception class :- firstname.lastname@example.org
It would help us if you indicate if you don’t have a preference of which days. If you have siblings, you only need to email to one class email address, not both.
NB: Children of critical workers will be able to continue full time (Monday to Friday).
During the weeks of 6th July & 13th July, teachers will welcome children back to school and will be able to carry out some of the usual transition work typically done at this time of year.
Week commencing 20th July
Only Year 6 class (all of them) will be welcomed back for the last 3 days of term, (20th – 22nd July).
Our new Reception Class 2020-2021 and their parents will also be welcomed into school on Monday to Wednesday that week to meet with Mrs Griffith & Miss Chalmers.
NB: Children of critical workers will be able to continue full time on Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st July & Wednesday 22nd July.
After Wednesday 22nd July, school will be closed for the summer holidays.
I apologise for the lengthy email, I have tried to explain the plans as clearly as I can, but if you do have any questions please do let us know,