|E-newsletter #44 Thursday 11th June 2020|
A quick recap on where we are up to with school re-opening.
In May, the Department for Education shared their ambition for all primary school children to return to school a month before the end of term. No details were subsequently shared with school leaders as to how this could be achieved under the current restrictions and with limited capacity in terms of physical space and staff and, yesterday, the government abandoned this plan. You can read more about this here.
The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, is due to clarify the DfE's position on this next week, including details of what Boris Johnson has called a 'massive catch-up operation' and the school's response to this will be communicated to you at the earliest opportunity.
As you know, the school began the first phase of re-opening on Monday 1st June, when the school welcomed children back in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. These cohorts were prioritised by the government and this was supported by the Local Authority. As I type this, there is no directive for schools to change their position on this and so the school will continue to prioritise these cohorts until it is told to do differently.
55% of our pupils who were eligible to return did so and this number has steadily increased overall as each day has passed. The returning children have settled quickly and the atmosphere in school is calm and happy. Children have been fantastic in observing the rules and they have adapted to the new organisation remarkably well. This is testimony to their own resilience, the support you have provided as parents in preparing your child for school and the hard work of school staff in adapting their approaches and teaching styles in these challenging times.
At the same time, provision within school continues for children of key workers, as it has done throughout the entire school closure period.
The school currently accommodates four distinct cohorts of children each day. Numbers within these groups fluctuate daily and, overall, have steadily increased. Carefully balancing these numbers alongside the restrictions around physical space and the finite resource of staff, it is fair to say that the school is working at capacity - every available space on the school site, both indoors and outside, is allocated and all staff are timetabled throughout the day.
My intention during the school closure period and now through the the phased re-opening is to communicate to parents with as much fact and certainty as possible. There are many factors beyond our control and, despite the inherent difficulties that these might create, the hope is that we can at least share a clear idea of what happens next. As we head into the latter part of June, though, the DfE has not yet provided any clarity on their immediate plans for primary schools and so I, like many of you, will be watching their announcement next week with great interest.
In the meantime, there are various scenarios that the school is actively planning for so that we are in a position to respond appropriately and very quickly to updated guidance from the DfE.
Thank you again for your patience and continuous support.
Key Worker Childcare Requirements
The latest Key Worker Childcare Requirement form is available to download here
|Grendon Church Of England Primary School
Tel: 01933 663208