Dear parents and carers,
Following the announcement by the government late last night, I am writing to let you know the arrangements for accessing Critical Worker provision for your child(ren) and the arrangements for those children not attending school.
Classes are open ONLY to those children of critical workers who do not have anyone else at home (or within their support bubble) to look after them. Government guidance states that one parent must be a critical worker: however, if you and your child do not live together with the parent classed as a critical worker within the same household, we will not be able to provide learning at school for your child. We are not being difficult nor do we wish to cause additional worry to parents but we must follow the government guidelines and apply them fairly across the board. In addition, we too must adhere to the advice and restrict the number of contacts at school for the safety of your child, your family, the staff and their families as well as the wider community. We will require written proof of your critical worker status before we are able to allocate a place for your child.
Classes are also open to those children with Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) or those under a Child Protection Plan, receiving support from children’s social care services or considered otherwise vulnerable.
The classes in school will not be mixed as in the first lockdown back in March. Children will remain in their own class bubbles and be taught in their own classrooms. The only exceptions to this are the Reception and Year 1 classes who will, as in the first lockdown, combine to make one class bubble. Class teachers and support staff will work with their usual classes as far as this is possible, allowing for staff illness or isolation.
It remains, of course, parental choice whether to send your child (if eligible) to school. We would ask that you contact the school on firstname.lastname@example.org to request a place for your child(ren). Please do not contact your child’s class teacher directly as they are not able to make the decision about whether the criteria for attendance have been met. If your child is unable to attend school on the day that you have booked them in, please contact the Office in the usual way.
Children who remain at home will have access to our remote learning platforms – Tapestry, Class Dojo or Google Classroom, depending on their age. All children have Bug Club logins. Details of these have been given to you and your child already but if you need help in accessing, please contact your child’s class teacher directly. The Office will not necessarily be able to help you in this instance. Paper packs of work will also be available for those of you who have expressed a preference for this rather than remote learning. Your child’s class teacher will let you know when these are available for collection from the middle gate.
During the first lockdown, many parents found it helpful to set aside a space at home for children to do their learning and to devise a daily timetable – like us, most children like a routine to follow. That said, it is not a “normal school day” and we are not expecting children to be working from 8.30-2.30 while they are at home. Build in breaks between learning, give children the opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise, have a change of scenery or activity… If you find your child is struggling with their home learning, please do not stress about this: change the activity; read a book together; build a junk model; create some art; go for a walk – always talk to your child’s class teacher if you need further support or advice.
Breakfast Club and After School Club will continue to be open ONLY to those children eligible to attend school. Places must be booked and paid for via Scopay in the usual way.
Children attending school should wear their usual school uniform. We strongly advise a thick warm coat, hat, scarf and gloves be worn to school as we will be using the outside spaces where the weather allows. You may also wish to consider sending in a (named) pair of wellies for your child to keep at school so they have them to wear in muddy conditions.
Drop off and pick up times will not change.
Lunches will be provided and as far as we are able, we will follow the published menu. This may, however, be limited by our catering provider. Lunches should be booked and paid for (unless your child qualifies for free school meals) in the usual way.
I hope this answers any questions you might have but please do contact us if you need further information. We will of course update you if the current guidance changes in any way that affects the school.
In the meantime, please stay safe and well.