E-newsletter 45

Grendon Newsletter
  E-newsletter #45 Tuesday 16th June 2020  
  Hello Visitor,

School Opening Update

The DfE, yesterday, issued further guidance on school opening which can be found here

Specifically on the issue of schools opening to more pupils, I have summarised the key points of the new DfE guidance and explained what this means in the context of our school.  

Which year groups are currently being prioritised?

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 the DfE confirmed yesterday that these cohorts should continue to be prioritised, along with vulnerable children and children of key workers.

Does the school have capacity to open to more pupils?

Overall, the number of eligible children attending the setting continues to increase day by day and, as mentioned in last week's newsletter, restrictions around physical space, the finite resource of staff and potential fluctuation of numbers within these groups mean the school has been working at capacity. However, this capacity is under constant review.

Will the school open to all children before the end of term?

Without knowing the DfE's position on opening to more pupils until yesterday, one of several options that the school explored was the idea of a workable rota system which could potentially have given all children time in school before the end of term, albeit not at the same time. With group sizes still limited to 15, this represented the only realistic way of the school welcoming all children back to school safely.  However, this option is not viable as yesterday's DfE guidance states that: 

Schools should not plan on the basis of a rota system, either daily or weekly.

The DfE also state in yesterday's guidance that: 

There is no expectation on primary schools to welcome back additional children where they do not have capacity to do so. 

Unless the DfE significantly changes its guidance, school will not have the capacity to open to all pupils before the end of term.

How will school review its capacity to open to more pupils?

The DfE state in yesterday's guidance that: 

Primary schools should only welcome back additional children where they have already made provision available for children of critical [key] workers, vulnerable children, and children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6.

It is up to schools to decide which pupils to prioritise, based on their knowledge of their children.

With this in mind, the school will continue to monitor attendance and gather information, by way of short online surveys, about parents' intentions to send their children to school so that we can quickly identify and respond to opportunities to invite more pupils to return.

Beyond the identified groups, which year groups will the school prioritise?

The school acknowledges that there is a case for bringing back each of the cohorts not currently in school and consideration has been given to the various merits of bringing back each of Year 2, 3, 4 and 5. Without being able to use rotas and with unsufficient capacity to safely invite all year groups back at the same time, the school is limited in its options. 

The DfE state in yesterday's guidance that: 

It is up to schools to decide which pupils to prioritise, based on their knowledge of their children.

Taking this into account, the school will explore the possibility of inviting the Year 5 cohort back to school. With low numbers in the Year 6 group, it is logical to explore the opportunity for Year 5 to return to school and begin preparations for their final year in primary school in their familiar environment with Mrs Gookey. 

The school's capacity to accommodate Year 5 will be entirely conditional on parent survey outcomes and I will share the results of this consultation with you on Friday 19th June. 

School Return Surveys

As the school explores opportunities to bring more pupils back to school, it is vitally important that you respond promptly to the relevant surveys.

The DfE recognises that school space is at a premium and they have authorised schools to re-allocate your childs place if you decline a place [on the survey] or do not respond to school consultation. In this respect, the DfE states that: 

Schools may offer this capacity [your child's space] to another pupil in which case they [your child] won’t subsequently be able to take up a place this term.

Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 Survey

To enable school to update its records, it is important that parents of children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 (DfE priority cohorts) complete the short survey that can be found here

Year 5 Survey

For parents of children in Year 5 only, please complete the survey found here 

Please complete the surveys no later than Thursday 18th June at 5pm.

Home Learning Content

Latest Skills Grids and associated resources have been uploaded to the school website and are available for you to access now. If you have any questions about the Skills Grids or another aspect of learning then please do contact school staff on the following emails. 





BBC Bitesize Daily Lessons are available here

Key Worker Childcare Requirements

The latest Key Worker Childcare Requirement form is available to download here

Please return completed forms to school at  no later than Wednesday 17th June by 5pm.

Requests submitted after this time cannot be guaranteed, so please return forms promptly

  Grendon Church Of England Primary School
Main Road
Tel: 01933 663208