Parent letter – 8th June

Dear Families

I do hope this finds you all safe and well after the damp and grey weekend. It was such a shame not to be able to make the most of the relaxing of lockdown to meet up with family and friends in open spaces… without getting very wet! The sunshine over the last few weeks has been a real joy but the rain is much needed too.

Last week continued to be a really successful one in school. Children arrived with smiles on their faces, delighted to be back to see each other and school staff. It was lovely to see them and to see you, their families. We had a lot of coverage in the local newspapers last week. They had stories about our return to school and pictures of our classrooms. They look very different from some of the classrooms in other schools; seeing our rooms full of smiling, waving children just added to their appeal! As well as more children returning to school, our snake of stones, Mr C, has continued to grow and his body now has over 300 stones. He really is lovely! We are in negotiations to set him in cement so he can stay there for ever! The beautiful birds Remi hung in Mousehold were a wonderful idea; I only found one on my walk yesterday so hope the others were still there and just hiding from me! Tomato plants are sprouting in many of your houses. We had a bumper crop of birthdays which we continue to celebrate on Facebook. The Book Swap continues and stationery is available at the front of school. Our Home Learning is still available for all Year Groups.

Since lockdown started, we have had 3 new children join our school.What a strange experience this must be for them! We are delighted to welcome them and their families to our school and to have met them at social distance (including over a garden fence!).

The next two weeks – weeks beginning 15/6/20 and 22/6/20

As I outlined in my email of 16th May, our planning for the return of more children has been focused on the experience for the children and the safety of them and the staff. Last week was well managed with low pupil numbers in our classes and a happy and confident atmosphere; we do not want that to change. We would like to encourage more children to come in to school in as safe a way as possible, continuing to be manageable for everyone. We want children to be with known adults in known spaces. Our maximum group size across school will be 10 children. The following is the offer we are making for the next two weeks:

Year 6

We will be carrying on with the same sessions as we have now. 6P will come to school from 8.30am – 11.30am and 6M from 1pm – 4pm. Each class will be split in to 3 groups, as now.

Year 1 and Reception

Year 1 and Reception will be offered 3 sessions per week across mornings and afternoons on 3 different days. They will be with a consistent group of children with the adults they are working with now. That is Mrs Stamper and Chelsea in Polar Bears, Miss Smith or Mrs Knight and Mrs Wishart in Pandas, Miss James and Mr Hamment in 1J and Miss Coleman and Mrs Peters in 1C. These sessions will be 9am – 11.30am and 12.30pm – 3pm.

Nursery

Nursery children will be offered one morning session and one afternoon session on different days. These will be 9am – 11.30am and 12.45pm – 3.15pm.

Tomorrow, parents of children in these Year Groups will be sent a survey to ask if they want their child to attend over the next two weeks. If your child hasn’t attended until now, this is their chance to join us from next Monday. We want you to consider this carefully; however, as we always say, it is your decision and you must make it in the best interests of you and your family.

We have already had questions about potential child care over the summer. At present, we are not being asked to open school over the summer and it is unlikely we will be asked to do so. This is not definite though as, like so many things at the moment, guidance and expectations might change. The problem so many of you have is that, apart from child minders, there is no other option for you for child care to enable you to return to work as of now. We are starting to think if there is a way we can help you with this. We are thinking of opening Shining Stars as child care for 4 weeks of the summer holidays. In our survey tomorrow, we will ask you if this may be of interest to you (this would not be available to current Nursery children). Our initial thoughts are this would be from 7.30am – 6pm and would cost £20 per day (this is in line with other local providers). For the Year Groups above, this will be in the survey with your choice to return to school. If your child is in Years 2 -5, you will get a survey just about this. The more people who complete the survey, the better we can plan for the next few weeks and months. Thank you.

Take care everyone. We have been delighted to see more of you but still miss those who are at home. We continue to try and do our best; as we keep telling you, that’s all any of us can do and it is enough! Please get in touch if we can help in any way. Most importantly, look after each other.

Sarah Shirras

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