3 July 2020
I hope that you are all well and keeping safe as we continue to emerge from lockdown. It continues to be a very different end of term and I thank you once again for your patience and support through this very difficult time. The staff and I have really appreciated the positive feedback that we have received. It honestly makes such a difference to us all and I really feel that the school community has pulled together brilliantly. Thank you.
As this academic year draws to a close this letter will set out the arrangements for the end of term.
Classes for next year
We are currently in the process of sorting classes for next year. Careful thought always goes into this every year and in particular we have thought long and hard as a staff about the situation we find ourselves in. Many of our children have not been in school at all since March 23rd so this has meant that we have had to deal with things very differently. Our priority has been to provide some stability and continuity for the children. Therefore, classes will move up as they are in all year groups with a few very minor tweaks which have already been communicated to the relevant parents. We will be moving some teachers into different year groups due to staff leaving and the class structure will be confirmed soon. I will send you details of your child’s new teacher and class by Friday 10th July.
End of term
We have also reviewed the transition arrangements for the children. We are not in a position to invite the children in to meet their new teachers so the provisional plan will be:
We are currently finalising the end of year reports. These will be sent out to you on Friday 17th July. There will be no attendance data this year due to the school closure. We have included assessment data – where the children were in their learning when school closed and an end of year prediction based on previous assessments and our professional judgement. These assessments will obviously be reviewed when we return to school in September. We will also be sending out a comment form – if you get a chance we would really appreciate it if you could fill these in as we value your feedback and opinions.
A reminder that school will break up for the summer on Wednesday 22nd July. The staff will use the last two days of term as Inset days to enable us to review how we have managed the school closure, plan our curriculum for September, work in their new teams and put school back together again for the new school year.
We will be setting a summer holiday project for everyone and I will send out some useful websites that you can continue to use over the holidays.
School will be closed to ALL children over the summer. We are having extensive building work at Cator Lane and new toilets at Meadow Lane so access to both sites will be restricted. CHAS are working hard at the moment to plan their potential reopening over the summer. If you need childcare over the summer you can find their contact details on our website. There will be a charge for the care over the summer.
The government have talked about ‘catch up’ programmes and this has been widely reported in the media. We feel that any catch up programmes are best carried out in September when school is up and running, teachers are fully rested and all staff can be back in school. We can then properly assess the children’s needs and direct additional support in small groups and on a 1:1 basis as appropriate. We are acutely aware of the need to take things slowly in September and we will work hard to support children as they return to school both in terms of their learning and their wellbeing.
As I write this letter, we will just have heard the announcements from the Government (school leaders hear it at exactly the same time as everyone else). We will then need to wait for the detailed guidance to appear. As we all know, this can often take some time and can be subject to many changes before a plan can be confirmed. I will try my best to be as certain as I can about our plans to reopen but we are obviously unable to plan for so many things at the moment. We are desperate to get the children back to school and I promise you we will do our very best to do this safely. As soon as there are any firm plans I will let you know and I apologise for the unpredictability of the whole situation.
The assembly this week is about the values of Happiness and Positivity. This situation has made many of us evaluate what makes us happy in our lives. We have all had to adjust to this ‘new normal’ and many of us are finding happiness in different ways. Although I have been at work throughout this time, I have still appreciated the slower pace of life generally. I have found happiness in my garden, with my family, taking part in Zoom quizzes, having time to read a book and cooking some interesting new recipes (with mixed success rates!) It has been hard for all of us to remain positive at some points but it is just so important to keep reminding ourselves to have a positive mindset and look for the good in situations. As we know, positivity is contagious and one of my very favourite stories ‘The Pig of Happiness’ proves this point brilliantly as you will see! My challenge to you this week is to think about the little things that have made you happy and to look around you and share that happiness and positivity with others – look for the good, pay someone a compliment, do something kind. Let us know how you get on and be like the pig!
Have a good weekend everyone and I will be in touch again next week. Keep sending the emails as we love reading them and seeing what you are all up to at home.