Further school updates for the start of term

Dear parents/carers,

As a result of reviewing our risk assessments and contingency planning, I thought it would be helpful to confirm a few things before Monday for you and your children.  Having reviewed the latest advice and guidance there will be some changes from before Christmas in some areas, but not in others.  We are in a very different situaiton to last January, so we are not required to revert back to all previous measures, despite the high rates of COVID.  Below is an update on some key areas which you may find useful to read before Monday.


Remote learning 

Previously when entire year groups had to isolate due to one COVID case, the majority of staff and children were well and able to work remotely.  However, many of our staff who currently have COVID are not well.  This is a different challenge.


‘Plan A’ remote learning

We intend that for all children who are well enough, but isolating, that we will set remote learning.


‘Plan B’ remote learning

However, if many staff are absent and are unwell with COVID, with remaining staff in school over stretched, there may be a short period of time where children may be signposted to access online learning via the DfE ‘Oak Academy’ online system.


We very much hope to be able to provide our own remote learning throughout for any isolating children.  But as staff absences nationally are so high and with so many of our staff team who are currently ‘close contacts’ of a COVID case, it may be that in order to prioritise staying open to children in the coming weeks, that some ‘sign posting’ to the DfE ‘Oak Academy’ may need to happen as a last resort.


Longer term remote learning developments

As this term progresses, we are also going to be investigating possible ways to enable chidlren who are isoalting at home to ‘join learning’ in school remotely.  Whilst this is a next step for us to explore, the current priority for all schools is to focus on remaining open and therefore the focus of the whole staff team in the coming weeks is on that.   Finding creative ways to remain open to all or as many children as possible, is going to create huge additoinal pressures on the whole staff team in all schools, whilst those well and in school are helping support to coverand manage the absence of many colleagues in order to keep schools open.



At the current time we hope and expect to maintain our daily OOSC provision, before and after school.  However, we cannot guarantee that the service will remain unaffected by staff absence.  We appreciate that many of you rely on our OOSC.  We were able to provide an OOSC service throughout almost all of the last 2 years of COVID challenges.  We certainly intend to try and keep the provision open where we can.


After school sports club

Harry Hoggins will be returning to providing his after school sports clubs.  This will be to one year group at a time, shortly after the term continues.

We had hoped to begin to expand our range of after school clubs again.  But COVID levels mean that this will be delayed until after February half term-for obvious reasons.


Friday morning choir

I am very pleased to say that choir will continue, starting next Friday.  Our sports hall is more than big enough to separate Y5 and Y6 children into 2 distinct groups within the sports hall for their choir sessions.  It will begin again the first Friday back.


Music lessons

Music tuition will also continue and will begin again next week.


High Borrans

I am very sorry to say that I have taken the decision to postpone (not cancel) the Y4 trip to High Borrans this term.

The trip requires a number of staff, including members of the leadership team, to be out of school at High Borrans.  Staffing absence levels could potentially be very high throughout the whole of this half term.  I feel it would be very unfair and upsetting to the Y4 children to have to cancel any trip to High Borrans at the last minute.  Therefore, having spoken to the team there today, we are looking to try and rearrange the planned trip for another time, when there would be the certaintly of it going ahead.  Unlike the uncertain situation we all find ourselves in today and in the coming few weeks.



Y4 swiming WILL be going ahead from Tuesday, for the Y4 class planned to begin swimming lessons first.  You have already been contacted about lessons starting before Christmas if your child is in this class.  As our children travel by bus and do not swim with the general public, there is no resason for this not to go ahead as planned.


Parents evening

After the virtual parents evening in the Autumn term, we actively sought your views about how you found it taking place online.  Feedback overall was hugely positive, with many parents preferring it online.  However, we listened to those of you who would have preferred to attend in person.


We had hoped to provide a hybrid option for the next parents evening, with parents having a choice of face to face or online attendance.  But unfortunately, as we are currently experiencing the highest national rates of COVID ever experienced, our upcoming parents evening will be online.  We need to do all that we can to protect our staff team from COVID, in order to maintain face to face learning for our children.  I hope those of you would prefer a face to face apointment understand.  We hope that we have been able to resolve the small number of technical issues whch may have occured for a few parents before the next event.


Parents evening appointments will be on Monday 7th February and Thursday 10th February.


Power maths

On a final note, we are introducing a brand new approach to the delivery of our maths curriculum, called ‘Power Maths’.  It is based on the latest research and is linked with the Maths Hub and White Rose approach.  We will share some information with you once we have overcome the current COVID peak, when we can focus more time on sharing this development with you.  I am confident that it is a positive and exciting development for our children.


This is defintely set to be a challenging few weeks, but I hope the information above gives some some clarity about some key things across school before the term starts.


I look forward to seeing you and your children next week.

Miss Byrne


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