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Letter from Mrs Harrison and Mr Cavell, Chair of Governors 21/05/20

Thursday 21st May 2020

 

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

Enclosed is a letter from Sal Tariq, Director of Children’s Services at Leeds City Council. We hope that you will understand from it the amount of work that is going on in schools as we support children of Key Workers, provide online educational activities and now prepare for the possible wider opening of schools from June.

 

It is a complex matter balancing the Government’s wish for schools to take more children with the safety of staff, pupils and the wider community and we are doing this in conjunction with Leeds City Council, Governors and Staff.

 

We still do not know if the country will have met the Government’s 5 tests by June 1st. We believe that this will be announced in the next ten days. This plan is therefore subject to change.

 

Thank you everyone who replied to my letter in Years 1,6 and Reception indicating whether they would be attending if we opened. We have based this plan on the numbers of children who have booked their place.

 

  • School will be closed to all pupils, including Key Workers’ pupils on Monday 1st June to allow staff to prepare the school and make sure all the safety measures from the risk assessment are in place.

 

  • If it is safe to do so, children in Year 1 will start school on Tuesday 2nd June. Individual letters will be sent to those children on the Monday, stating the start/finish times, which classroom and which member of staff will be leading their bubble. It is only on Monday 1st June that we will know which members of staff are available. It is intended that it will be one member of staff to each bubble of 10 children. Children with additional needs, who usually receive extra support will continue to get that support from a named member of staff who will also be part of the bubble.

    School will open at either 8.45am or 9.00am depending on which bubble your child is in. You are asked to time your arrival exactly and not to mingle with other parents. More details will be included in your welcome back letter. Children will need to be collected either at 3.00pm or 3.15pm and it will be stated on your Y1 letter. School will be closed at 12.00 or 12.15, depending on the bubble on Friday afternoons every week. This is to allow staff to prepare the online learning resources for children not currently accessing school and to review the risk assessment measures. Children will not mix with members of different bubbles. Lunchtime and playtimes will be staggered and meals eaten in the classroom.

 

  • If it is safe to do so, children in Year 6 will start school on Monday 8th June. The final decision about this will be taken on the Friday before when we will be reviewing our risk assessment and safety control measures. A letter with further details will be sent to those returning Year 6s on 5th June.

 

  • No final decisions have yet been made about if and when it will be safe to welcome back Reception. The nature of their curriculum and learning needs are so based in play and continuous provision that we are seeking further advice to allay safety concerns and we will also learn from the experience of how Year 1s manage in such an alien environment.

 

  • School will be open again to the children of Key workers on Tuesday 2nd June. They will have been contacted about booking in their childcare provision which will be based in the Year 3 classroom. This, too, will run a bubble system and more details will be sent to those parents.

 

If a child or a member of your household starts to display symptoms of the virus, you must let us know immediately and access a test. Your child cannot return until the results of the test are known. If it is positive your child will need to isolate for 14 days. We will notify staff and the parents of other children in the bubble and instruct them to isolate for 14 days if we are notified of a positive test.

 

I realise that these arrangements may not suit everyone, but please be assured that I am trying to balance the needs of families with the safety of our whole community. I do believe it is asking a lot of us, but we are stepping up to the responsibility in a measured, reasoned way. The plan will be constantly under review and there may be many “tweaks” before it is running smoothly but I can’t and won’t commit until we have the full reassurances that it is safe to do so.

 

Thank you once again for your patience and support. Ten years a Head Teacher at Deighton Gates and every day is still full of new challenges and surprises! Highlights from this week have been seeing two new Reception cyclists, receiving the most amazing carrot cake (which I have shared- honest!) and the wonderful pictures of our children being posted on the gates. It makes me very proud to work here.

 

Best wishes

Claire Harrison Head Teacher

Simon Cavell Chair of Governors

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