May 22nd 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
As you know the national context with regards to COVID-19 is constantly changing. Governors and Trustees of the Vines Multi Academy Trust have a responsibility to make a decision about whether they feel it is safe to open the school to a wider group of children.
They have considered all the information available carefully, but have noted that we are still awaiting the scientific research evidence from the government and the fact that large numbers of schools are postponing opening until the infection rate further reduces and they can have more confidence in the safety of children and staff.
The demographics at Hope Hamilton mean that we have a large proportion of BME (black, minority and ethnic) families, including many Muslims who are about to celebrate Eid. We know that most will respect social distancing during this very special time but there is a concern that in the excitement of the feast unexpected transmission of the virus may occur. Emerging evidence suggests that COVID-19 is having a disproportionate effect on people from BME backgrounds.
A significant number of staff are now self-isolating and many staff remain anxious about the safety of children and adults, despite the wide range of measures that have been put in place.
It is with great reluctance that we have made the very difficult decision to
postpone wider opening from 1st June until 15th June.
The arrangements will stay the same (although remain under review as more information and guidance becomes available). This means that the dates given for children’s return will follow the same pattern but start 2 weeks later than you were originally told. A new rota is available below.
If you have already booked a place for your child/ren, this will be carried over to the new dates.
Year 5 individual dates will be confirmed after half term.
Key worker children will continue to attend on the same basis as before.
This rota will cover the 3 weeks beginning 15th June. We will review this at the end of June and make decisions about the final week of term depending on the national context.
We appreciate this change of plan will be a source of inconvenience and frustration to many of you, but please be reassured the decision has been made with the safety of the children, staff and the whole community in mind.
We very much appreciate the support we have had from parents so far and hope you feel able to continue to support us as we move forward with this very difficult process. As always, please email any questions or concerns to: email@example.com
Jacky Farnell Stephen Wadsworth
Final version of the children's 'Welcome back to school' booklet.
If your child is being booked in to return to school this term, please spend some time going through this with them. We will do the same when they come to school.
We also hope you will also find the information helpful in making your decisions about when your child returns to school.
We do need to plan carefully for numbers, so if we have not received your booking form by Friday, 22nd May, we will assume you ...do not want your child to return until September.
Whatever your choice, we will respect and support your decision. Home learning will continue and we will be using the same activities in school.
The government will make a final decision on 28th May. Please watch this briefing to confirm whether we go ahead with our plans.
As always, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concern. I will respond as quickly as I am able to do so.
Thank you for your support and patience in these difficult times. Stay safe.
Health and Safety information.
We know many of you are feeling uncertain at the moment.
It has taken longer than expected to share this information with you so we have extended the booking deadline until Friday. If we have not heard from you buy then, we will assume your child will not be returning until September.
There are no penalties for parents who choose not to send their child to school until then.
Below you will find some documents which may help you make a decision about whether you wish to send your child back into school this term. The risk assessment is currently out for consultation with staff - your views would also be welcomed.
The children's booklet is still being developed - but I thought the first draft of this might be helpful to you. Their first lesson in school will be based around this.
We are also currently considering options for year 6 to get together either this term or at the beginning of next term.
Reopening of school
Please see the detailed letter below.
Thank you for your patience and ongoing support.
We know some parents will be disappointed. Please know we have given a great deal of thought to how we balance safety with getting children back into school and supporting parents.
UPDATE 11th May
I realise many of you will be waiting for news following the government announcements yesterday.
The guidance for schools is extensive and needs careful consideration. We are discussing the best way forwards today and will hopefully be able to update you within the next 24 hours.
Whilst we of course want to welcome children back to school as soon as possible, our priority is to ensure the safety of children, staff and parents. We want to be entirely transparent with parents about what we are and are not able to do, so you can make informed decisions for you and your family.
I can tell you that it has already been made clear that parents will not be penalised for not sending their child to school this term.
In the meantime, you may wish to read the DFE guidance for parents:
Please watch this space for further information.
UPDATE 10th May
Parent survey 5th May
We're keen to know how you are doing with the home learning resources.
We have no idea as yet when the government will tell us to reopen or what this will look like, but it would be helpful to know your views so we can start to plan once the government make an announcement.
Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and return it to email@example.com or post it in the letter box near the school gate.
(This has also been sent out on ParentPay.)
If you don't have Microsoft word or you are unable to print, please just list your answers with the question numbers.
Please don't forget, if you are having problems or need support, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We are here to help, and if we can't help we may be able to signpost you to someone who can.
BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY May 8th
School will be closed.
This page is just for parents and carers to keep you up to date as things change and we try to improve our home learning. Please check it at least weekly.
Phonecalls to children
Over the next weeks each teacher will try to briefly call each child in their class. This is to
If your child isn't comfortable talking on the phone, the teacher will speak to you instead.
We can't promise to get to everyone, but we will try our best.
Remember, if you have any worries or concerns, we are here to help.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and if we can't help, we'll try to find someone who can.
Home Learning pages
These are organised into weeks.
Each week will include:
Years 1,2,3 and 4 will have pages each week for communication, logical and other subjects.
Years 5 and 6 will have a page for each day.
Activities are intended to be accessible to the children independently. We do not expect parents to be teachers.
Check the Guidance for parents page for useful booklets to help you to organise your child's learning.
What if your child can't access the learning?
Some children may find the work for their year group too difficult. In class, the teacher may well give them different work or extra help. For instance children with special needs or who speak English as an additional language may find some work too hard.
We suggest children try the work for their year group first. They may well be able to do some of the activities.
If they can't do them, they could go to the same work in a lower year group and try that instead.
If there is still a problem, email the teacher via email@example.com for help.