Headteacher's Newsletter 26/03/21

Dear Parent or Carer,

As the Spring Term comes to a close and the horizons are once again filled with optimism, I wish to thank you for your support during this difficult, most challenging period schools have faced for many years. 

With that optimism comes a potential change in guidance and therefore a change in approach to the day to day functioning of schools.  During the Easter break I would hope that I/we receive guidance from central Government regarding the next stages in the continued reopening of schools.  I would hope that the guidance gives me more details regarding how we can continue functioning as a school but whose behaviours and attitudes change towards the approach to the Covid-19 pandemic.  When that guidance arrives I will update you all as to how we as a school will respond.   

Sitting alongside those possible Covid-19 changes are a refocusing of our core principals and standards.  Since the partial closure to all students except those children who are vulnerable and children of critical workers, from 4th January 2021 and the subsequent complete reopening of school to all students on 8th March 2021, I have had a more relaxed approach towards our core standards centred on uniform and mobile phones to name but two. 

My focus has been to welcome back all our students from the challenges of lockdown and to allow them to re-establish friendships and to once again become accustomed to the routine of school and to on site, face to face learning.  During these last three weeks the re-acquaintances with friends and school routines have successfully occurred.  It is now my intention to return, after Easter, to a refocused establishment where we concentrate on our core business of Teaching and Learning.

With that refocus will come an expectation that all the other areas are delivered upon and regarded as ‘getting the basics right’.  Getting the basics right means that full school uniform is worn smartly and correctly; in accordance with our school uniform policy, outdoor coats are removed when entering the school building, chewing gum and Lucozade drinks are placed in bins before entering school, litter is as it should be, placed in waste bins provided.  The wearing of P.E kit for school on days when your child has PE will no longer continue and students should wear full school uniform bringing their PE kit in their bag and change as pre pandemic in the changing rooms here in school.

Included in these basics are the removal of false nails, false eyelashes and excessive jewellery.  The use of mobile phones around school will not be permitted, once again returning the rule that they should not be seen in school during the school day.  These rules may appear unnecessary and inconsequential, however, they are part of the core values that school and society is based upon but also I wish us all to return, incrementally, to the pre-pandemic norm, so that we may focus on schooling.

As we move towards that pre-pandemic norm and we all continue during the Easter break and afterwards, carrying out regular Lateral Flow Device tests (LFD) at home, we must remember the impact that this has on our community both inside and outside of the school gates.  Information in the form of guidance letters have been and will continue to be issued as we hopefully, slowly emerge from these difficult times.  Information regarding necessary procedures if children and or members of your household test positive for Covid-19, have been issued. 

Further updates and changes in procedure will be issued when they are received.  To that end, on our return to school on 12th April 2021 we will continue, as we have been doing during the last three weeks, send whole year group bubbles home.  After we conduct a robust, risk assessed track and trace of all contacts will we then request the return of non-contacts to school. 

During the period that all students remain at home, they will receive live lessons delivered by their teachers.  The period that all students will remain at home will be kept to a minimum but it does need to be a sufficient length of time for us to carry out our extensive track and trace procedures so that all those concerned are safe in the knowledge that they are able to return to school safely.

For those students who have been identified as close contacts they will be told to self-isolate, as per the guidance but they will be able to access live lessons from their teachers in school.  I will, as always, endeavour to seek the guidance from the Local Authority and will respond, in accordance with that advice but similarly inform yourselves of any changes in that guidance.  For those families wishing for additional home LFD please collect them at the end of school today or use the links in the letter sent out by Ms Chapman, earlier in the week.

I am aware that shops will not be opening and the purchasing of new school shoes and equipment may be difficult.  We will, as always, work with individual families and make arrangements based on your individual needs, however, I felt that it was important for me to give you sufficient notice in order that you may begin purchasing shoes or other items of school equipment.

I would once again like to thank you for your continued support.

 

Yours faithfully,

Gareth Jones

Headteacher