Dear Parent / Carer,
Over the last week or so many of you have been asking about the reopening of school in September and therefore I hope this letter addresses some of these questions.
We are still awaiting further clarity and guidance in relation to what September will look like in school, however, one thing I can be certain of is that it will not be business as usual as we will still need to follow more stringent hygiene measures whatever happens. We have heard recently of classes needing to be treated as bubbles which will require timetabling of playtimes, outdoor spaces and possibly lunch provision.
We also need to remember that every school is different and has a different context, so we will all do things in a slightly different way as this meets the needs of our school community, no one else’s, so please try not to compare with other local schools.
We have started with what we can do and we are currently reviewing our curriculum in relation to what children will do and learn as we all have a restart to our education. This may include aspects of a recovery curriculum, increased PSHE or beginning by teaching/revisiting the summer term curriculum from the previous year group as appropriate. It may also involve identifying key core concepts and knowledge which underpin our future learning. It may also involve moving some staff to support our youngest children with the challenge of returning after so long to a different school and setting. We will also need time to reassess the needs of our pupils upon their return to make appropriate changes to the curriculum and curriculum coverage in our school.
I am concerned however at some of the language being used in the media in relation to catch up I feel very strongly that children are not catching up- they are all in the same position so who are they catching up with?
Myself and the staff recognise the impact that this prolonged period away from school will have had on our children and you as parents/carers. We all know how hard you have tried to maintain children’s learning at home within the context of your families but children will all have had different experiences and we need to account for this moving forward. Our curriculum plans will reflect this. We cannot simply pick up where we have left off. Everyone in our community will be experiencing some sense of loss for the time they have been away whether that is the loss of routine, friends, teachers, SATS etc. and we need time to address this. I will share our plans with you in relation to the curriculum once they are finalised in the coming weeks.
As parents/carers, you need to be aware that several things are likely from government announcements, and each will have an impact on what school will look like in September. John Tomsett, a Headteacher in York has addressed these scenarios and grouped them into four scenarios and we need to be prepared for them:
|Scenario||Impact on for our School|
|1. The risk of catching Covid 19 completely disappears over the summer and the likelihood of catching it is gone.||All children return to school and we work on our recovery curriculum as planned. Risk assessment would remain in place in relation to personal hygiene and cleaning.|
|2. The risk level of catching Covid 19 is lower than now but not eliminated.||Social distancing measures may be reduced further allowing us to bring more children back to school but even if they are reduced we may still not be at full capacity. All children will be offered some time in school. A mixture of school home learning would be needed for all cohorts. Risk assessments will remain in place with reduced social distancing distances. We would implement our recovery curriculum as planned with children whilst they are in school. Home learning would be set based on a range of activities and basic skills whilst they are not in school.|
|3. The risk remains as it is now (June)
|Social distancing remains as it is now and current measures remain in place. We would look to bring back all children on a reduced timetable basis and as with scenario 2 they would spend some time in school and some time at home. We would implement our recovery curriculum as planned with children whilst they are in school. Home learning would be set based on a range of activities and basic skills whilst they are not in school.|
|4. Covid cases increase and there is a second spike.||Schools may close as they did in March and home learning would continue.|
I cannot predict what guidance will be in place for September or when it will be announced but I will keep you up to date with our plans as they develop. We will be planning based on all four scenarios as we need to be prepared for whatever announcement is made as do you as parents. Please be aware that we are not made aware of government plans before they are announced to the public. Therefore, if announcements are made which change guidance and impact on school, we will work through this guidance, process it and inform you of any changes that we are putting in place.
We are planning that school will be closed to everyone over the summer holidays unless current government guidance changes. Children, staff and parents need a rest to spend time with their families and to regroup to be ready to move forward for September, however that looks.
Please continue to stay safe at home.
Mr M A Watson