Possible phased wider reopening of school
I do hope that you are all safe and well. I write to you all now with detailed plans of how we intend to re-open school in a safe and phased way, should the 5 conditions set out by Government be met. At the very centre of my detailed plans is the safety of all our community, children, staff and families. I do know that this has been causing some real anxiety among some parents and carers.
Despite ongoing reports of political and medical uncertainty around this next step, the school has worked through many different models and we can now outline details for the first stage of reopening should this go ahead. These plans, in line with the government guidelines, will assist you in deciding if you would like your child to return to school during this term or if you would prefer to continue to keep your child at home doing home learning for the time being. Remember it is perfectly OK to stay home for now if you prefer.
I must stress that we are having to continually review and adapt our provision in light of ongoing changes, making the plan set out below subject to change if required. Our current plan is based on the first two weeks of the school being reopened. During this time, we will carefully assess all aspects of the provision, adapting as necessary with a relentless focus on safety for our children, parents, staff and wider community. Parents will be kept informed of any changes that are needed.
Year R & Year 1 reopening offer only
Following the government guidance on smaller class sizes, separate classrooms and prioritising critical key worker and vulnerable children for places, then the youngest children first, Year R and Year 1, it is with an extremely heavy heart that I have no option but to delay the start for Year 6. The entire staff team wants our Year 6 children and parents to know that we are desperately trying to find a way to have you back with us as soon as possible but doing this carefully and safely MUST be our priority.
Please be assured that whatever happens within the current situation, the last few weeks for our Year 6 as Newlands Primary children and their transition to secondary school remain high priorities for us. We will do all we can to offer you the very best that we can and will contact you as soon as anything changes. In the meantime, please continue being fantastic members of our school community, keeping in touch through Google Classroom and look out for your teachers arranging some Google Meet sessions for you all to catch up face to face with each other and the staff.
To help keep everyone as safe as possible, the youngest children will need a high level of adult support to adjust to the new way in which school will now need to operate. The restriction to movement around school, access to equipment, staff, peers and areas of the classroom needs to be carefully considered. We must do all we can to safeguard our children’s emotional, social and physical development during this unfamiliar period.
For these reasons, along with the staffing ratio demands, the initial plan is for the children to access school for a reduced daily timetable. We will monitor closely how the children settle and transition back into school and into the new routines and would hope to extend the hours in school as the term goes on.
Monday 1st June:
The school will be closed to new children on 1st June 2020 so that staff can receive essential training focusing on the implementation of the risk assessments and procedures put in place.
Newlands Crew (Key worker/vulnerable children) may come to school as previously arranged at either 8am for Breakfast Club or 8.45am if not. Spaces must be booked in advance!
Every day starting from Tuesday 2nd June:
Year R 9:15am-12:15pm
(Windermere Avenue Drop off/collection)
Every day starting from Thursday 4th June:
Year 1 9:30am-12.30pm
(Ullswater Road Drop off/collection)
School will be very different. We have put together a guide to help parents and children to understand the safety measures and organisation of the school upon return and hope that this answers any questions you may have.
Parents of children in Year R and Year 1 will be contacted individually about the offer of a place and will be asked to complete a form indicating their plans to return or not in order to help our safe planning.
We will then contact parents of children who have booked a place over the course of next week with specific details about Bubble groups, drop off and pick up times and arrangements as to where and when these will take place.
The Newlands Crew (key worker/vulnerable children) who have been attending school over the past 8 weeks will continue to attend as they have been doing previously. If your child is in this group, you will receive a separate letter of information.
We thank you again for your continued support, understanding and patience during this time. If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact school and ask for advice.
Take care and stay safe
Mrs Mellor & the Newlands Team