|E-newsletter #48 Tuesday 23rd June 2020|
Schools To Fully Re-Open In September!
Boris Johnson confirmed today that it is the government's intention for schools to be open to all pupils from September. School staff are expecting to welcome back full classes and begin what I hope will be a completely uninterrupted 2020-21 academic year. There are no planned changes to our staffing structure (shown below) with teachers remaining in the same phases next year and so there are very positive signs that schools will, at last, be getting back to some kind of normality.
Nursery & Reception - Miss Hillman
Year 1 & 2 - Miss Jenkinson
Year 3 & 4 - Miss Steed
Year 5 & 6 - Mrs Gookey
Although our new Reception intake has not been able to participate in our normal transition activities, it is the school's expectation that this cohort will join us as normal in September with a greatly reduced, but carefully managed induction process that will be tailored to meet individual needs.
The school will not open over the summer holidays with the focus instead being on the extensive preparations required for the full re-opening of school in September.
Summer Holiday Childcare
I am currently in discussions with Get Active with a view to them offering daily childcare provision on the school site throughout the summer holidays. School will very shortly issue a short, online survey to gather expressions of interest from parents.
Pupil Profiles And Assessment
Under normal circumstances, Pupil Profiles are updated and shared with parents three times a year. The most recent Pupil Profiles were sent out at the end of the Autumn Term with subsequent parents evening appointments held in March to discuss your child's progress and attainment. The prolonged schools closure period then began a week after parents' evening!
With school not set to fully resume until September 2020, it is not possible to provide a meaningful or accurate update on pupils' achievements and so Pupil Profiles will not be issued this term.In the absence of up-to-date performance information and statutory test results, teachers will be taking great care and considerable time in making sure that children have a positive transition to their new year groups, classes and schools. Additional meetings will be taking place over the final weeks of term to share important transition notes - these meetings will involve our own teachers and, of course, those of the secondary schools that are Year 6 children will shortly be moving to.
Broadly speaking, it is a fair assumption that pupils across the country will have made slower progress in their academic and social development during the school closure period than they would have done had they been at school. Having said that, I have been made aware, over the last 3 months, of some of the incredibly rich and memorable learning experiences that children in all phases of the school have engaged in during lockdown, whether that was through school's remote learning activities or through activities designed at home or discovered online.
It is likely, too, that the different experiences children are having during lockdown will create significant inconsistencies in terms of their rates of development.
Although these are unprecedented times, the core principles that teachers use to assess pupils will not change when children return in September. All pupils will be carefully assessed when they come back to school for the 2020-21 academic year. Our baseline assessments at that time will feed into our effective internal tracking systems and help us to very quickly determine the extent to which children have retained or developed the skills and knowledge that they had acquired before school closures. This important process will allow the school to match work to the specific needs of individual pupils, just as it has always done.
It is important to note that there is no sense of panic amongst the school. School staff are highly skilled at implementing our tried and tested processes for assessing pupils which have always served our school so well. Teaching will reflect the individual needs of pupils and the school is confident of meeting the needs of all of our learners.
DfE's 'Catch Up' Programme
The DfE has pledged £1billion for their 'Catch Up' programme. According to the DfE, £650million will be allocated to be used at the discretion of schools to facilitate extra tuition for pupils - the amount equates to £91 per pupil. The remaining £350million will be used to establish what the DfE call a National Tutoring Programme but it is not yet clear what this will look like.
Full details on the 'Catch Up' programme are to be announced by the DfE very shortly and, as further information emerges, the school will consider its response and inform you of its intentions as soon as we are able to.
Welcome Back To Year 5!
Our Year 5 and Year 6 group is now at capacity, with Year 5s starting back on Monday. The school is very happy to be able to accommodate all of the children in both cohorts who indicated on the recent survey that they wanted to return to school.
It is in the school's interests to keep the group full so that as many children as possible can benefit from being in our setting. If you originally declined the offer of a place in this particular group then, consistent with DfE guidance, you will know that the place will have been re-allocated to another pupil. However, on the basis that situations can and do change, you are very welcome to enquire at any time as to the availability of places in this group by emailing me at The school will be as accommodating as it possibly can be (whilst working within the prescribed group size limit of 15) and available places will be filled on an individual basis (to save time and remove the need for more surveys!).
|Grendon Church Of England Primary School
Tel: 01933 663208