Head's Blog

17th June Update

We had lots of response to our survey last week regarding parent views on a return to school. Having spent some time working out the logistics and various 'what if' scenarios, I am pleased to say that we are able to invite years 2, 3, 4 & 5 back for at least 1 week before the end of term.

We have tried to be as creative with this plan as possible whilst following the necessary safety guidelines. Any decisions about this further opening to children have been based on the following information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june/planning-guide-for-primary-schools#inviting-back-additional-pupils-where-there-is-capacity

Based on the survey responses and the fact that the year 5s have the least amount of time left in primary school, all the children in this year group who wish to can attend school from Monday 22nd June until the end of term, Friday 17th July.

We are, however, very keen to ensure that all children get at least a week in school before the end of term. As such, Years 2, 3 and 4 will be invited into school for 1 week per year group. In addition, we will be inviting all Pupil Premium and SEND children in to school for at least 2 days a week. Start and end times for each year group, along with lunch and breaks will be staggered to help ease the volume and movement of parents and pupils across the day.

We are so pleased to be able to offer time in school for so many pupils, and are really looking forward to their return!

10th June Update

We recently saw another development in the response to COVID 19 following the announcement that the government was not expecting further year groups to return to school prior to September. Whilst this is not a surprise, it is nonetheless very disappointing and I would imagine many of you are feeling frustrated that your child will still not be able to return to school.
There have been indications that schools may have some flexibility in opening to further groups if they have the capacity to do so. There are no plans to increase the current maximum class size (15) or relax social distancing rules. On this basis, to have everyone back in school, we would need 8 classrooms and 8 teachers! There have also been indications that a system of rotating year groups is not advisable due to potential cross contamination of premises and staff.
We are, however, looking at various scenarios for potentially opening the school to more children if we are allowed to do so. These include having an additional year group back full time, offering mixed ages classes or having all year groups back in for one week before term end.
All of these scenarios are very much dependent on the potential uptake of these options. We will be sending out a survey for you to share your thoughts. This survey also contains questions about home learning. As indicated in my last email, even if we are able to accommodate more children, remote learning will still be the only option for some. From the feedback received, we have already looked to make improvements, starting with individualised teacher and pupil Zoom sessions to discuss learning and provide support, along with trialing teaching small groups via Zoom.

Update from Mrs Brown

It has been a little while since I wrote to many of you although I have been involved in lengthy correspondence with the year groups identified by the government for potential return! It is difficult to turn on the news without some reference to the debate about schools’ wider opening. We are planning to open at Yardley and Denton to the designated year groups and key workers unless we are told otherwise!  The government has not clarified plans for further opening to other year groups. I am so sorry for those families where there are older siblings who cannot come back. I promise I would take them if I could!

As soon as we hear any indications of an even wider opening I will, as usual, let you know. Once we know how this may work, we will share the plans with you. As with the year groups identified in the first phase, we will ask you whether you intend to send your child back and take it from there. Let’s hope we can have that dialogue soon!

From talking to many parents this week, it is clear that many people are working from home or are furloughed. If you have to return to work and your job falls into the key worker category, we can offer a place in school, if necessary on a part-time basis. Do get in touch if this applies to you. Please see this link for clarification of who is defined by the government as a key worker: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision#critical-workers

For the next week (half-term), the teachers will be taking a break from adding curriculum work to the Google Classrooms. I hope that you will be able to take a break too and be able to enjoy the half-term without the pressure of home schooling!  For those of you who want to continue the routine you can work on reading, times tables, maths problems involving money, writing a diary etc. The government promoted oak national academy is still available: https://www.thenational.academy/online-classroom. There is also ‘BBC bitesize’. The government has also produced a document about home learning you may find useful:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-primary-school-children-continue-their-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Obviously when we get back after half-term we will continue supporting home learning primarily via Google Classroom. We are continually looking for different ways of engaging the children and maintaining interest. Please bear with us initially. With more children returning to school, your child’s class teacher will now, more than likely, be teaching children in school. They will continue to plan the remote learning but it may be another member of staff who responds to work or questions on Google Classroom during the day. Should you be struggling with ICT, please let us know and we will provide you with paper copies or learning packs especially as there are now more staff in school. These would be left outside for you to collect.

Please let me know if you need any help or support. Whilst your children cannot yet come back to school, we want to do everything we can to support learning and emotional wellbeing. I do know there are some lovely Zoom sessions happening amongst class groups. I too can Zoom and phone whenever you need but am having a couple of days downtime at the beginning of next week.

I really hope we can see you all in school at some point soon.

Enjoy the bank holiday!

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