Friday 5th June
Dear Parent/ Carer,
RE: School reopening to more pupils
As you will be aware from my earlier letters the government is encouraging schools to open to more pupils. They attest that their five criteria have been met. Therefore, from Monday 8th June we will be partially reopening to some pupils in Nursery, Reception, Y1 and Y6. The parents of these children have been contacted directly so that they can make informed choices and are fully aware of the new school procedures.
The staff have worked hard this week to put in place all the safety measures outlined in our risk assessment. A copy of which can be found on our website.
Unfortunately I am still in the shielding category so I will not be there to welcome the children on Monday but I know the staff will do their very best to reassure their pupils and have a good day.
As you know things are always subject to change and often this is at short notice. Please keep checking in on the website or email or phone the office if you have any concerns or queries.
I wish you all the very best.
Mrs J. Jones
Possibility of School Re-opening - Latest Statement from Mrs Jones
Dear Parent/ Carer,
Re: Possibility of school reopening to more pupils.
As you will be aware the government is encouraging schools to open to more pupils other than the current key worker and vulnerable pupils it still caters for. They propose a staggered approach in certain year groups. These being YN, YR,Y1 and Y6 then all year groups by the end of the summer term. Since this announcement there has been very little guidance and advice from government and it has been left to individual schools to make their own decisions based on a risk assessment being carried out.
Some councils across England have refused to implement the government suggestions as they think it’s too soon. However, Hertfordshire are keen that their schools try and meet this requirement. In order to help schools they have issued a generic risk assessment which has proved a useful starting point. I intend posting this on the website when it is fully approved.
As indicated in my last message to you, school is going to be very different. The only way we can adhere to the best possible safety measures is to alter classrooms so that desks are as far away as possible. There will be staggered start and finish times. Separate play and lunchtimes. One way systems and a modifying of resources. Staff may wear PPE and your child’s teacher and classroom area may be different to that in March. When all these measures are in place we will inform you.
Governors met yesterday (virtually) and after much deliberation have decided that they want more time to review the risk assessments being taken. They would like all school staff to review and be confident in the procedures so that when we welcome some of your children back we can do some with full confidence that we have done everything we can to produce as safe as environment as possible. I would like to stress that we cannot guarantee 100% that your children will maintain the 2 meter social distancing requirement.
So that is the schools position at the moment. As you know things can suddenly change! We are aiming to accommodate some children in YN, YR, Y1 and Y6. Most likely from 8th June. We have already made contact with those parents and we will do so again as soon as possible so that they can be clear about the exact arrangements for their child.
At this stage governors feel it is highly unlikely the whole school will be open to all pupils this term.
I appreciate that this as all very strange and possibly at times confusing for you. We feel the same and are working to provide as safe an environment as possible. Rest assured when your child does come back we will make it as stress free and enjoyable as possible.
All the very best to you and your families.
Mrs J. Jones
Dear Parent/ Carer,
Re: Covid 19 update
Following on from my last update on the possibility of the school opening up to more pupils from certain year groups, on or after 1st June 2020. As I write it still seems the government ‘s intention that schools will be asked to open to YN, YR, Y1 and Y6 pupils albeit at a reduced number I.e. no more than 15. You will be aware that this has garnered a lot of media attention and lots of debate. You will no doubt have your own opinion on children returning to school.
I want be completely honest with you as to what this might mean for Four Swannes. IF and it’s a big if more children return to school it will be school but not as you or your children have previously known it. There will have to be strict routines in place. Separation of classes and pupils within classes. Staggered arrival and collection of pupils. No assemblies, whole school activities or playtime. Each class will have a time tabled play and lunch so that they don’t meet with other pupils. There will be signage on doors and floors to reduce contact and movement of pupils. Children will not be allowed to sit next to each other or move in classrooms. This is just a taster of the sorts of things we have been addressing as we seek to adapt to the measures the government is asking us to take. We will, of course, do all that we can to limit the risk of catching the Coronavirus in our school. Despite this the one thing I cannot 100% guarantee to you as parents/ careers is that all pupils will be able to socially distance at all times. Young children are used to having free access to their teacher, staff and friends. They will forget no matter how much we tell them. There will be a limit to what toys and resources that can be used in the Early years. They will not be allowed to sit on the carpet, indeed there will be no mats for them to sit down as they will have to be removed alongside any soft furnishings.
I have tried to lay out the position as clearly as I can to you. Like all my colleagues in the education sector I desperately want to see all pupils back at school, happy, healthy and safe.I am not a scientist, economist or politician. I am an educationalist with 30 years experience in education and this whole new way of teaching will need some adjusting to if the government does insist on this pathway.
I wish you and your families all the very best. Please feel free to share your opinions via the school email system. Governors are meeting virtually this week and would value your thoughts.
Other information can be accessed on www.gov.uk
Mrs J Jones
I was hoping to write to you today with some clarity as to your children returning to school. Alas, that is not possible. Despite the Prime Minister’s latest speech, schools do not have any directive to open for any pupils other than those of critical workers or those classed as vulnerable.
I, like you, want the children back at school but only when it is safe to do so. If we are directed to partially open, then that could mean your child is taught by a different teacher in a different classroom. It could be at staggered times or days as we would seek to keep to the social distancing guidelines. We need to wait and see what further detail the government will give to schools in the coming days.
I have been reflecting over the weekend during the VE Day celebrations when the nation came together in a time of great loss and uncertainty. We are now in a period of history where a great many people have suffered, face financial difficulties and are fearful for the future. Then, as now, things will get better. We will get through this.
Wishing you and your families all the very best. If there is anyway the school can help you, we will endeavour to do our best. Please personally email me at firstname.lastname@example.org marking your letter FS parent so I don’t miss it amongst the hundreds I get every day (I’m not joking!).
Mrs J Jones