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Thursday 8th October 2020 Letter from Mrs Harrison

Thursday 8th October 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

Just as we get our systems fully up and running, we have a flood on the playground that wrecks the one-way system! Fortunately we were able to use an alternative route today so thank you for working with us.

 

Once again I am writing this in advance of what could be further measures to reduce the spread of COVID, with the next announcement due on Monday. We will look carefully at any new guidance that affects our running of the school and we will actively support measures in the wider community. Thankfully so far we have not had any more positive test results for children, but staff are being seriously affected when their children’s bubbles are closed and this adds a huge additional pressure on their families and our capacity within school. Please understand that staff are working flat out to provide the best education and support for our children and this is the hardest time it has ever been to work in a school.

 

Thank you for bearing with us whilst we work through our remote learning offer. We have learned a lot already by working with Year 4 families through their recent bubble isolation and we will be asking those parents for feedback as we move forward. We realise that there will be teething troubles on both sides but, together, we can work through them.

 

We have asked all parents to make sure that they can access Teams and we are showing the children in school what they can expect. Some homework has been set up so that children can practise turning it back in. Please make sure that you practise as a family to help iron out any issues before your child’s bubble has to close. Teams will be the online learning platform that teaching will be delivered through. This is a Government requirement. Staff will be working from home so will not be able to supply paper resources unless in exceptional circumstances. Because our teachers will be making videos and planning bespoke lessons especially for their class, Teams will provide the best way for your child to keep up with their learning.

 

We have set up the class email accounts. Please can I remind you that these are not to be used for day to day contact but are designed to be used only when children cannot be in school or for the trialling of Teams.

 

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be finalising our remote learning policy. The Government clarified in law last week that the expectation is that children will engage with remote learning if they are isolating or cannot access school. We have identified different education pathways that your child may be following over the coming months as it is clear that the pandemic is not going away any time soon:

 

A. Universal offer – when education is taking place in the classroom led by school staff. This may not be the class teacher if they are having to isolate.

 

B. Bubble closure – when a whole class/bubble is required to isolate at home for up to 2 weeks. Teaching will move to Microsoft Teams for the whole class, led by school staff. This may not be the class teacher if they are ill. The year group email address will be in use.

 

C. Individual/sibling isolation – when a family member test positive and the whole family are required to isolate but the bubble/class is still in school. The school staff will send home work at the end of each day and will reflect as much as possible the curriculum that has been taught in school to the rest of the class. The year group email address will be used for communication with those families in isolation.

 

 

D. Waiting for a test result- If a child is not unwell, but is unable to come to school the school staff will send home work at the end of each day and will reflect as much as possible the curriculum that has been taught in school to the rest of the class. The year group email address will be used for communication with those families in isolation.

 

 

+- Children on pathways B and C that require additional provision for SEND, Social and Emotional or Safeguarding will receive targeted support in addition to whole class education.

 

There will be more information to follow.

 

Lunchtimes. Thank you to the group of parents who responded to my plea for help last week. They are now helping to clean the dinner hall between sittings and allowing the children to get out to play quickly, freeing up staff to have a quick break.

We have adapted our routines to be able to have the jacket potato option which some of the children have enjoyed. From 19/10/20 we are hoping to reintroduce the hot grab bags alongside a jacket potato option in response to feedback from children and families and we are just waiting for the menus to be sent to us from Leeds Catering Agency.

 

Gates Over the next week I will be talking to the children about personal safety when leaving school, and in particular what to do if their parent/carer is not there to collect them. Staff have been manning all of the gates every morning and afternoon since we came back 5 weeks ago. This has been important for several reasons: to be a point of contact and reassurance for parents; to monitor the effectiveness of our routines; and for children who are meeting parents at the gate to have someone to refer to if their parent/carer is late. Miss Duffy, who has stood by Gate 2 in all weathers, is leaving for maternity leave this week and we are therefore reviewing our staffing. We will still aim to have a member of staff on Gate 1 (main entrance) where we can.  Going forward, I would ask all parents to make sure that they are on time for collection. If a parent is not there, the children will be asked to come to the office to wait in the porch until they are collected.

 

PTA Watch out for the upcoming news and letters from the PTA. We are very aware that children will be missing out on the usual fun of Hallowe’en and trick or treating so we are working with the PTA to make it an event to remember before half term. Get making those costumes now!

 

…and finally. We would like to wish Miss Duffy and her family all the best for the upcoming arrival of their baby. I would like to thank her personally for the vast amount of work she has put in behind the scenes, helping us to open safely to all children. I do think she needs a little rest now before the baby arrives!

 

Best wishes

Mrs Claire Harrison

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