We are very much looking forward to welcoming the children back on Monday, all of the staff have been working hard this week to get everything ready for their return. We are hoping that the children will quickly settle into the new normal and feel safe and happy in their new classes.
Hopefully, all of the children can remember who their new teachers are and which classroom they are based in. The only change we have made is that Ms Mitchell has stayed in the same room and so the Sparrow sign has been moved along to the other end of the corridor!
Mr Watkins and I will be around on Monday for any help with directions and questions, please try to keep them brief as lots of parents will want to talk to us. There will be signs up to help everyone find their way around and the children should know which doors to come in by. The only change to this, to support the bubble system, is that Year 3 will be using the door next to my office to enter and leave.
As part of making our school Covid safe we have brought in new systems for lunchtimes and playtimes, ensuring that the bubbles are able to move freely around school without coming into close contact with each other. The children will find it strange at first, but hopefully will see the benefits of a more leisurely lunch with their classmates. Children can bring in packed lunches, please ensure the boxes are washed each day.
Children will need to bring in water bottles as the water fountains are now turned off, there will be facilities for re-filling them still. PE kits will be needed in school, to avoid sharing of kits we will no longer be able to lend kits to children.
I am sure the children and you will be happy to hear that we intend to continue sending reading books and homework out each week, although there will be some changes to the methods. To help reduce how many people touch books we will not be signing homework diaries, but they will still be checked each day, with children having them open on their desks.
Also, as part of our attempt to reduce contact, the teachers will be doing less marking in the children’s books, they will still be supported and provided with feedback for all of their work, it will just be less visible to those not in the lessons with them.
The advice for primary schools around the wearing of face coverings remains the same. Children should not wear them at school. We are happy for the children to wear them on the way to school, but ask that they remove them as they enter the school site. Parents and carers dropping off and collecting children are more than welcome, in fact encouraged, to wear them on the school grounds. We continue to ask that wherever possible parents say goodbye to the children at the gate and let them make their own way into school, they manage to find their way around the rest of the day without you! Please remember, parents are not allowed into the school building where children are, and respect social distancing with all staff at all times.
Finally, I would like to say that whilst this letter deals mainly with the practical aspects of the response to the current pandemic, we are also extremely focused on the emotional impact on the children the last few months will have had. We are planning lots of fun and engaging activities to develop their confidence and make them feel comfortable around school again. We will be taking time to understand how it has been for them and to find out how they coped with the work we sent home. Only when we are confident they are ready and resilient enough will we begin the process of trying to catch them up on the time they have missed in school. We will not be trying to do this in the first month and you should not expect it either!
As ever, please do contact us if we can help in any way, although please remember to avoid coming into the office if possible and use phone or email.
I look forward to seeing the smiling faces of the children and the relieved ones of the parents on Monday.