I hope you have had a good half-term holiday and as ever it’s great to see the children all so happy to be back at school again. Unfortunately we seem to again be heading into a very difficult situation regarding Covid-19 and there is some information here about what to expect. Apologies for the rather lengthy email.
We’ve been waiting since Saturday for further guidance for schools which finally arrived this afternoon. There is actually no change for us as we are to remain open following the same guidance as we had at the start of term. However, I would ask you please to take extra care when dropping and picking up: during the lockdown period, we should only be out for essential trips and work/ school – this is to avoid unnecessary contact. Clearly collecting/ dropping at school is a risk, which is why we have staggered times and asked parents to wear face coverings. Please stick to these times and avoid waiting around longer than is necessary.
If we have staff off sick or self-isolating, we will do our best to keep all classes open (as we have successfully done so far this term), but obviously if we end up with large numbers off, we may have to close for certain classes. Staff are being extremely cooperative about covering classes where needed and also extremely cautious about following self-distancing guidelines within schools as far as possible to minimise risk. We also do have a number of staff who are classed as vulnerable, so it may be that your child’s teacher or teaching assistant is not able to be at school over the lockdown period: we will let you know arrangements for covering this as needed.
You can read the full guidance here:
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
Children who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable by their doctors are now advised not to attend school. If your child is in this category, the guidance says you will be receiving a letter from the government – in the meantime, if you are not sure, please call us to discuss. Any children who live with others who are clinically extremely vulnerable are still expected to attend school as normal.
There is guidance about this here:
We are awaiting further guidance from the government about schools and will let you know any further changes that might happen as soon as we know ourselves.
Remote Education - Be Prepared
At the moment, we know that schools will be allowed to remain open, but of course the situation could change at any point, either through national guidance or because of positive cases and isolation. Please take some time now to check you have appropriate IT to access online learning (ideally a device with a keyboard and a reasonable-sized screen). If you don’t have enough for all your children, let us know and we will see what we can do to help.
We have been allocated up to 25 laptops by the government to distribute, but we can’t actually order them until there is an isolation period or lockdown, at which point there is apparently no guarantee they will still be there for us! However it is better than nothing.
Energy Kidz Breakfast Club and After-School Care will continue to operate as normal. They have their own risk assessments and rules to keep their staff and children safe.
Visitors to site are kept to an absolute minimum and only where absolutely necessary. Visiting staff (eg music teachers) are still allowed to continue and will follow the rules about keeping safe, but any other visiting professionals are being postponed until after lockdown wherever possible or using virtual visits.
The government is advising children, parents and staff to walk or cycle to school wherever possible and to reduce the number of journeys made.
We have a number or staff that are unwell and not able to be at school at present. Please keep in your thoughts and prayers Mrs Lindfield, Ms Brennan, Mrs Paul and Mrs Pabis. We welcome back Mrs Burrows and Mr Hawkes who will be helping to cover classes initially on a part-time basis.
I want to say a big thank you to our kitchen team, led by Dee, who have been so flexible through all the changes we have had in the last few months. Their whole routine and way of working keeps changing and now they have adapted to provide hot lunches again while maintaining the strict Covid-19 rules. Somehow they manage to keep smiling!
This is normally the time of year when we are so excited to be organising a whole range of Christmas shows, fairs etc. Although a lot won’t be possible this year, we will definitely be doing some Christmas performances (most likely you will need to attend “virtually”) and Fr Ross is working with us to see if we can put together a joint online service for Christmas – details to follow.
The SPSA also have some great virtual activities planned and we look forward to their first event!
Month of the Holy Souls
November is the month of the year when the Church encourages us to remember friends and family who have passed and to pray for their souls. As a school we have lost several staff and parents over the past few years, including of course most recently Mrs Angela Davies and we will be keeping them in our prayers especially over this month.
Finally, please do give us a call if anything is worrying you and we will do our best to advise and support.