Week 15 Lockdown
3 July 2020 (by Chris Taylor (C Taylor))
To Our Wonderful Community
Children have had a fabulous time in school this week and, despite Tuesday's weather, they have had plenty of fresh air and opportunities to collaborate and socialise with their friends. It has been lovely to welcome some Year 2 children back to school; Year 2 teachers have been genuinely delighted to be back in the ‘real’ world with their class. We look forward to welcoming more Year Two’s next week. Year Two children have been giving some thought to moving on from Patcham Infants and I know there is access to online materials to help with the transition to the junior school. Class teachers and Senior Leaders have been in conversation with Junior colleagues to ensure the move to Year Three is a successful one; I know Mr. Sutherland and his team will take great care of the amazing individuals heading their way.
As you may be aware the Department for Education (DFE) has unveiled plans this week for the full reopening of schools in the autumn, when it will become compulsory for pupils in all year groups to return to classes, except where there are local surges in infection rates. Much of the finer detail will take time to plan but I am confident we will be able to welcome children back, continue to be recognised as COVID secure and maintain the highest levels of care.
As a community and Local Authority, we have managed the situation extremely well and, based on the R number across the city, the LA feel we can continue to manage the situation safely’; we have learnt from the last three months and will be able to respond effectively as a result. Simple practicalities including entry points, staggered starts/finishes to the day as well as year group playgrounds and lunchtimes and flexibilities around routines will be issues for consideration and will be communicated nearer the September start date. The main message from Public Health England is the importance of handwashing and I feel confident we are all making this habitual for our children.
Whilst I feel the message from the DFE about punishing families by issuing fines for non-attendance is hostile, I do recognise the importance of getting back to a more ‘normal’ routine. I know that for some it couldn’t happen quick enough but for others there may still be some trepidation. I do not want to put added pressure on how people deal with their emotional needs before they are ready or able, but would like to communicate openly with families to regain their confidences in how we ensure their children remain safe in school. Some anxieties may be addressed at the ‘meet the teacher’ events, however If anyone would like to have a telephone conversation around this issue please email the school office and I will make contact. Everyone's wellbeing is paramount and we are here for you.
The end of this very strange academic year is fast approaching and I hope you are managing to find successes in your days and are beginning to feel more confident about the direction of travel into the recovery phase. For some families, the summer holidays might mean an opportunity to do something different from the routines we have found ourselves in. Whether it is a walk to the beach or a trip further afield, I feel sure a change of scene may do us all the world of good – keep adjusting those sails!
Some families have shared concerns about whether their child will manage in their next year group and I would like to refer everyone back to an earlier update. Please be assured that many of us have found home learning a challenge, and our school will make sure we support all children once we have established their learning needs. No-one is going to be judged on their home learning, we know all children have grown and learnt many things during this period and we look forward to finding out all about their experiences in September. For families who wish to keep some home learning going over the summer we will keep all the planning on the website. Everything on the Remote Learning pages relates to the expectations within each year. This however is not an expectation and our main wish is that you enjoy some varied, quality and nurturing time together.
Happy Friday everyone – have a great weekend!