TUESDAY 23rd MARCH
Today we had 2 positive cases amongst the children. Fortunately one was already isolating. The other resulted in the whole of Foundation Stage being closed for the rest of the week. Thankyou to all those parents who had to take their child back home. Unfortunately there isn't time to call over 100 parents individually to save you a journey.
We also have regular notifications of parents who have tested positive. This is a reminder that COVID is very much in our midst.
And yet I have been informed that there have still been a number of parents on the playground who are not wearing masks. This is to protect other parents and the children and I find it hard to understand why a minority of individuals would choose not to do so.
I will be asking staff to notify me from now on when parents do not wear a mask. They will receive a letter explaining that if this is repeated, they may be excluded from school premises as they present a health and safety risk.
A number of parents are genuinely exempt and are able to drop off and collect their children at the office. This does take up staff time and takes them away from other children, but as long as cases are genuine, we are happy to provide this support. Interestingly, the numbers of parents claiming to be exempt is increasing. Please only use this provision if you need to as it does put added pressure on staff at the busiest times of the day.
Finally, please do not bring isolating children into the playground to drop off and collect siblings. Instead, call or email the office and we will arrange for them to arrive and leave through the office.
We realise the present situation is presenting us all with many challenges. We really appreciate the support we are receiving from the vast majority of parents and hope that everyone will work with us so we can keep each other safe. Thank you so much for your patience and good humour. It really helps.
PLAYGROUND SAFETY POLICY
Like every other school, we have a no mask, no entry policy.
I am receiving a lot of concerns from parents and staff about the small number of parents who are not wearing masks on the playground. I am reluctant to take staff away from looking after your children to 'police' the playground but it is clear that many parents and staff are feeling unsafe at drop off and pick up times due to a minority of parents having a disregard for those around them. .
We have the right exclude parents from the playground if they are behaving in an unsafe way, but I would really much rather that we all work together to stay safe and to keep each other and the children safe. Staff have enough to do, ensuring children are safe and happy at the beginning and end of the day. I would prefer them not to be put in a position where they feel they need to challenge parents. Please wear a mask.
Please also observe the one way system and stay 2m apart - and ensure your children queue in an orderly way, 2m apart, especially if you are allowing them to come in on their own. A number of children have been pushing past parents to get to the front of the queue. This is unacceptable at all times, but especially at the moment.
The gate closes at 8.55am so lessons can get underway. A number of children are arriving after this, causing disruption to the start of the day for the rest of the class. I realise the morning routine is a challenge for everyone at the moment, but please don't use late arrival at the office as a way to avoid the challenges of dropping off on the playground. We are trying our best to make the routines work as smoothly as possible for everyone and need your support.
We are approaching the end of a very difficult year, but we have the end in sight. We need to role model to the children how we can all work together to stay safe, even when it is inconvenient and difficult
I’ve just watched Boris doing his daily briefing. I wonder if he knows what a fronted adverbial is . . .
But I echo his comments about parents. As we return to school, I want to take the chance to say a massive thank you to all of you. From getting to grips with google to timetabling live lessons for 3 children on 2 devices, whilst coping with the housework, the cooking and quite possibly financial challenges brought on by COVID, you have all been amazing.
Your children possibly don’t appreciate all you have coped with this term, but we know they couldn’t have engaged with learning so successfully without you and without your support, they would not have bounced back into school with smiles and enthusiasm this morning.
Knowing you have been working with us has really helped staff as they adjusted to delivering remote learning and live lessons. Trust me – delivering a live lesson to up to 60 children – knowing many of their parents are also watching – and with no handbook explaining what good online learning looks like - is a challenge! I’m really proud of the remote learning that staff have provided and confident it has done the job - - - but enough now! We want to get back to normal.
It has been an absolute joy and delight to have all the children back today - so many smiling faces and a really happy buzz around the school. Only 7 children were absent today! It’s so lovely that the children are clearly really happy to be back in school.
Also, a massive thank you for your patience. We're still working out the best way to do things. Timings are a challenge, even with the extended drop off and collection slots. Please try to arrive within these to avoid queues - but thank you so much for working with us to keep everyone safe by wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing, even in the long queues! It really helps. We will try to improve signage so everyone is clear about timings and expectations.
Please know that we don't want to keep you at a distance and welcome contact via notes, emails and calls. We're simply trying to keep everyone safe. I will try to be on the gate in the mornings whenever I can so do come and share any concerns. (I’ve had my first vaccination now so I’m happy to talk to parents when I can.)
We will be sending out a link for this week's parents' online meeting on Thursday at 12.15pm. I would welcome your views and ideas about how we move forwards.
For now though, the most important thing is that we are thrilled to have the children back in school. Many of us have actually found it quite emotional! I hope you’ve enjoyed some well deserved peace and quiet and managed to find a few minutes to put your feet up. Rest assured, we are working hard for your children. We are not assuming they need to ‘catch up’. We are simply asking the question – now they are back, what are their needs – whether these be social, emotional, academic or simply a bit of TLC and a smile?
We’re going to be using the rest of this term to settle them in and find out where everyone is. Then we’re looking forward to a fresh start next term. We certainly do have lots to catch up on – playing together, smiles, talking, working together, friendships . . . and no SATs! It’s going to be a lovely summer term!
This will be available as before in the community room. The children will remain in bubbles and staff will be starting lateral flow testing on 22nd March. (Staff in school are already doing this.)
Contact High Hopes nursery to book.