Mr Langford has made the decision that Wraparound Club will continue to be closed for the duration of the lockdown (however long that may continue) and until school fully reopens again.
Dear parents and carers of Key Worker children
On Friday the Government issued new guidance relating to schools providing cover for the children and carers of families where at least one parent is a key worker.
The term ‘key worker’ has changed to ‘critical worker’ and the eligibility criteria changed to those parents and carers whose:
‘work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU transition response’
The guidance also explicitly asks that:
‘parents and carers should keep their children at home if they can.’
We are currently looking after, on average, 60 children each day and this necessitates nearly all school staff to be in full time to look after this number of children.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the threat it poses to society has dramatically increased since Christmas. We are now, once again, in a national lockdown and the strict rules by which we have to live are imminently going to be made more stringent; the Government’s chief medical advisor, Professor Whitty, has spoken this morning explaining that we are about to go through ‘the most dangerous time of the pandemic.’
I ask you therefore, if you are currently a key worker family, to look at your situation and, if at all possible, to keep your children at home.
As a minimum, if you work part time, your children should not be in school on your days off; also, if a parent or carer in the household is working from home then you should not be sending your children to school: 60 children in school and nearly all staff is inherently a dangerous situation. Staff and children are at significantly increased risk of contracting Covid-19 because the transmission rate of the new variant has increased by 70%. Even though the virus has little effect on primary age children, the increased threat for the virus to be passed between households and families, including school staff, now means that, to mitigate this, numbers of children and staff on site must be reduced. At the beginning of the March lockdown, we were averaging between 4 and 8 pupils each day!
So, in conclusion I ask:
- If you are working from home, please keep your children at home.
- Ask yourself, ‘is my role absolutely critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) or EU transition response’. Please do not send your children to school if you are not.
In this first instance, I hope that my request will lead to a reduction in the number of children requiring critical worker cover. I can then rota staff, especially clinically vulnerable or critically clinically vulnerable staff who are currently coming into school each day, so far less time is spent in school thus reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19.
As headteacher, my duty of care to my staff is to risk assess and mitigate as much as possible the significant threat that the COVID-19 virus poses. If numbers of required critical worker places does not reduce, then changes in procedures to keep staff safe, including a reduction in on site staff, will inevitably impact on critical worker child cover where it is genuinely needed.
Thank you in advance for your continued support.
I’ve seen so many posts on social media recently about parents and children struggling with home learning, and we haven’t done a full week yet – but that is ok we know it isn’t easy.
All our teachers are setting what they believe to be achievable work each day but every child is different, as is every parent, the majority of you are not teachers and probably never wanted to be either! It isn’t easy to teach your own children at the best of times but if you are working from home too that makes the challenge even harder.
We recognise for many there are other hurdles, it will be difficult for children to access work on small tablets or smartphones. All we ask is that you do what you can. What we don’t want is to be creating unnecessary stress for you or your children during these difficult times. Here are a few suggestions for getting through each day.
- Take lots of breaks.
- Ask for help if you need, whilst all our teachers are in school teaching keyworker children they are checking emails and will happily help where they can.
- Don’t be afraid to move on to something different.
- When it all gets a bit much read a book to your child or why not put on an audio book for them.
- Get them to write thank you cards (for Christmas gifts)
- Let them learn some life skills. You are never too young to sort the coloured laundry from the whites or match the socks are you?.
- What about teaching money management. Give your child a budget and let them pick the weekly shopping. They can add the items to your online basket and when you are free later on you can go through it with them and see what you will be eating for the week. Have they forgotten anything? Discuss it with them? Have they remembered the toilet rolls. It could be fun and will definitely teach them about where the housekeeping money goes!
- What about learning some basic first aid and the recovery position? I’d love to see your photos if you try this! First Aid for primary school children
- This is a lovely resource Kindness Activity Pack
- Do some gardening, or perhaps grow some herbs on a windowsill?
- Learn some basic DIY for our older children they could learn to wire a plug?
- Create a scrapbook of all the life skills you learn. This can be mostly pictures in the case of very young children.
- Who doesn’t love baking? Hopefully many of you have the lockdown cookbook for recipe ideas. If it isn’t too stressful get your child to clean up afterwards too.
- Put on the television, there are lots of educational resources out there and its ok to say enough is enough and just watch a film!
Don’t believe everything you see on social media, your friends’ children might have worked solidly for six hours and completed all the tasks. In reality they possibly haven’t. One sibling might be studious and have excellent concentration another may not be able to concentrate for more than 5 minutes. That is ok, our children are unique and that is something to be celebrated!
Hopefully this will make you smile. I’ve just had a message from my daughter, my grandson is in breaktime detention. He just suggested his younger brother measure Mummy’s waist because it is a ‘big’ circle!
As of tomorrow, Tuesday 12th January, Wraparound Club is being cancelled. This is due to the dramatic increase of Covid-19 cases locally and across the country since Christmas and the increased transmission rate of the new variant. We realise that this will be an inconvenience for the few who are using it and apologise for any inconvenience. Senior Management will be reviewing the situation every fortnight and we will let you know as soon as we can reopen it.
In the first instance, bookings that have already been made for the next fortnight will be cancelled (your payments will go into your child’s credit on School Money).
Thank you for your understanding.
Today we have opened for our Key Worker and Vulnerable children. We have striven to provide a place for all Key Worker families who informed us of a required place by 3.30pm yesterday afternoon.
I realise that there are still families with at least one key worker parent or carer who may require a place for their children. If this is the case, I ask that you contact me directly using:
Since the country was upgraded to Alert Level 5, as a result of daily infections surpassing 60,00 cases, and we entered full national lockdown again, Government advice now states that society must work from home if at all reasonably possible. Guidance also states that there need only be one family member who is a key worker for that family to be eligible for a school place during lockdown. This has resulted in a significant rise in pupils in school compared to the first lockdown and we are now extremely close to the maximum number of pupils we are able to take whilst ensuring the health and safety of all staff.
I therefore ask all key workers to please look at your situation at home and consider whether it is essential to send you child to school, especially during these few weeks when infection rates are so high and a family member is working from home. I can assure you that children at home undertake the same work as those in school and that at home they are, quite frankly, in a safer environment.
Can I also request that children coming to school only bring a coat, water bottle and snack / lunch box. Reading books will not be going home and school will provide all necessary writing materials so no pencil cases please. This is to minimise the amount of items being transferred between school and home.
Finally, please ensure you DO NOT arrive at school before 8.40am in the morning when doors will open. This morning, several children arrived at 8.30am!
Home learning started today for all children, whether in school or at home and, as I am sure you can imagine, teachers are now incredibly busy juggling the preparation and uploading of work, looking after keyworker children and assessing completed work. Teachers will respond to emails and communications from children and parents as soon as possible but I ask for your understanding and patience if there is a small delay. I also ask that teachers are not contacted via email in the evening; if you need to email, please contact me using the above link.
Thank you to all key worker families for your consideration as to whether you feel a place for your child is absolutely essential, especially if you are using our key worker provision 5 days a week. Please rest assured that, as a key worker, you will not lose your place if you feel you are able to keep your child at home: it will be available for the whole of lockdown.
As always, if any wish to discuss your situation with me, please do not hesitate to contact and to all parents, please do contact if you wish to discuss anything. This is a tremendously difficult and stressful time for all of us so please do contact if you feel you need to, especially with difficulties accessing home learning due lack of usable devices in the home. We will always do our best to help.
Shortly we will be sending a text out to all our Key Worker families.
If you have had a text from us, please send your child/ren into school wearing their uniform as usual. School dinners will be provided on site, but you are also welcome to send in a packed lunch if you would prefer.
The school will be open at 8.40 as usual and the school day will begin at 9.00. The children may be collected between 3.05 and 3.20.
The PE days for each bubble will be as follows:
Room 4 / Reception – Monday
Room 5 / Year 1 – Thursday
Room 3 / Year 2 – Tuesday
Room 2 / Year 3 – Wednesday
Room 6 / Year 4 – Friday
Room 8 / Year 5 – Friday
Room 7 / Year 6 – Wednesday
Before and after school provision will run as normal.
Due to the new lockdown, we expect parents to fully abide by social distancing rules and to wear a mask when dropping off and picking up children. Although the school doors open at 8.40, please remember that this is to give you enough time to drop children off and socially distance with other parents. Please do not all congregate outside classrooms while you wait to drop off / pick up your children: it is extremely important that we all act carefully and sensibly at this time to keep our community as safe as possible.
We are still working through our list of Key Workers. If you have had a text and not emailed school yet, then please contact the school office by emailing email@example.com by 3.30pm at the latest. This is when we will be making our final decision about numbers.
We will let everyone know about whether or not they have a place after this time.
We are trying our best to sort Keyworker Care. If you have received a text message or if you are new to our school and are a Keyworker then please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you NEED Keyworker care and which days you will require this. We are trying to limit the number of children and adults on site so please consider if you are able to keep your child at home or if you can continue to use your childcare bubble. We will contact you via text message or phone call by the end of the day to confirm your place. Depending on numbers we may need to prioritise places for families with more than one keyworker.
Please be aware we do need to see proof of your job / keyworker status if you have changed job or have not provided this previously.
For the latest guidance on Keyworkers please visit this government website.
Sorry to mention the horrid Covid word on the last day of term but I have been asked a hypothetical question and I have sought advice from the Department of Health and thought it best to share this with you all.
If your child develops any of the coronavirus symptoms within two days of being in school and then has a positive test we would ask that you email me at school and we will then be able to provide track and trace with the details of all those in the same bubble in order for them to isolate. If a child develops symptoms later in the holidays you would just advise us on return to school. I very much hope this is not the case for any of you, we want you to be able to enjoy Christmas with your families and then want you all back happy, healthy and rested on Wednesday 6 January 2021.
On a happier note I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and very happy Christmas and hope 2021 sees us all being able to return to normal life albeit not immediately – the end is in sight!