31st December 2020
Dear parents and carers
Firstly, I hope you had a good Christmas and are well? I am writing to you today in response to the government announcement yesterday about reopening schools after the Christmas break.
As you will have seen or heard, primary schools (except those in areas on the mainland of high risk as identified by the government) will re-open to all children. For us, this means we will be open to all children on Monday 4th January as expected.
We will continue to operate the class bubble system, with staggered drop off/pick up times and staggered, separate break/lunch times as we have done since the start of the autumn term. There will be no change to the drop off and pick up times for the time being, although this will be kept under review.
There will, however, be other changes in order to minimise the risk of transmission of Covid-19 and the new variant and to enable us all to follow the Tier 4 guidelines.
With effect from Monday morning, only those children of key workers will be able to attend Breakfast Club and After School Club. If you are not a key worker, please do not send your child to either of these clubs. If you are a key worker and there is no-one at home to look after your child, please provide written proof of your key worker status to the office who will confirm if there is space for your child to attend. Please note that we will require current, up to date proof of key worker status: any supplied prior to the summer holiday (ie during the first lockdown) will not be accepted. It is really important that only those legitimate key workers use this provision so that we can work together to limit the potential spread of the virus.
There will be NO other after- school clubs until further notice. This includes those provided by school staff and sports coaches. There will also be NO music teachers allowed on to the school site to give lessons –sadly this also includes the djembe drumming lessons for Y6 children due to start next week. While the current government advice is that these may continue, we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily suspend these in order to minimise the number of people in school who could potentially spread or contract the virus.
ALL adults who drop off/pick up from the school gate will be required to wear a face covering while on school grounds and to observe social distancing guidelines, maintaining a safe distance from each other and other children. If you are exempt from wearing face coverings (as per government guidance) please maintain at least 2m distance from others. Please also leave the school site as soon as possible: if you want to chat to other parents, please do so off site (and well away from the main school gates) so we can reduce congestion.
Please do not visit the Office: you can contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 562000.
Current advice is that primary school children do not need to wear face coverings in school: this has not changed since the start of the autumn term. You may wish your child to wear a face covering on the way to and from school but these should be removed once they are in school please.
We will continue to prompt children to wash their hands thoroughly throughout the school day. Many children brought small bottles of hand sanitiser in to school last term for their own use and I would highly recommend this for all children now. We will remind them during the school day and would ask that you too impress upon them the importance of using their hand sanitiser frequently and washing their hands after using the toilet.
As I write this, I have a number of staff who are currently unwell and awaiting test results. Depending on the outcome of those tests, it may not be possible to open all class bubbles next week. If this is the case, I will inform parents of the affected classes as soon as I am able. You will also understand that it may be necessary in the future to close bubbles if staff become ill. If this is the case, you will be reminded of how to access remote learning for your child.
This is not the start to 2021 we had all hoped for – 2020 was certainly challenging for all of us! At St Mary’s we continue to be committed to providing a safe and engaging learning environment for all the children; if we continue to work together, be vigilant and follow the advice and guidelines given to us, we will get through this and look forward to returning to some sense of normality in our school and home lives, post vaccine.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone 562000 (from Monday) or email email@example.com
Thank you all for your continued support and I hope you all have a happy new year!