Full School Opening Monday 8th March 2021
23rd February 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
Re: Full school opening
We will be pleased to welcome back all pupils from Monday 8th March and we are all looking forward to getting back to normal and seeing all the children again.
I would like to thank parents for their efforts in supporting their children to continue to learn during lockdown, and am sure many of you will be relieved the children are coming back after this challenging time for everyone.
Please return any loaned ICT equipment, (iPads and Wi-Fi routers) to the school office on the first day back.
As you know, there is still a real risk from Covid 19 to pupils and adults within school, and that is why we MUST maintain our strict risk assessments and rules to keep everyone as safe as possible. The Government has issued new operational advice to us, which we are adopting. Here are some reminders:
Maintain social distancing, no gathering at the gates
- Masks must be worn in the playground, unless you have told us you are exempt
- Pupils MUST arrive on time, unless you have advised us you will be late, we do not have staff capacity to welcome late pupils in. Consistently late pupils will not be admitted
- From 8th March 2021, attendance becomes COMPULSORY again
- Full school uniform is required. No sweatshirts, hoodies, training shoes. Please plan for this now
- Named PE kits need to be in school
- No drop-in visits to the school office or to classrooms
- You must check your contact details are correct. It is a legal requirement that we are able to contact you in an emergency. e.g. whole school closure due to an outbreak
- All absences must be advised to the school office on the first day of absence
- Keep your child at home if displaying symptoms, and get them tested
- Breakfast and after school clubs remain suspended for the time being
Priority in the first week, will be settling pupils back in, returning to routines, restabilising friendships and making sure pupils feel safe, happy and secure in school. In this half term, to Easter, we will be focusing on getting basic skills back on track and picking up where we left off in December.
There are three areas of concern I need to explain in more detail.
Firstly, behaviour: All pupils are expected to follow our behaviour rules. We still have 3 staff off school shielding, so there is less capacity to support poor behaviour on an individual basis. If any pupil puts others at risk through their behaviour such as refusal or not following school rules, the likely outcome could be an exclusion. Please see the Behaviour policy on our website or ask for a copy.
Secondly attendance: Many of you will be anxious about returning, and we understand this. Now, it is more important than ever that children are in school every day, ready to learn. We are as confident as we can be that everything is being done to keep your child safe and we will of course offer individual family support to help you overcome anxiety. The DfE has sent a clear message that parents must be supported to make sure children attend. The DfE’s guidance states that school attendance will be “mandatory for all pupils from March 8”. The usual rules on attendance will apply, including parents’ legal duty to secure their child’s attendance at school. The ability to issue sanctions such as fines will also be reinstated, and schools will be responsible for recording attendance, following up absence and “reporting children missing education to the local authority”. This support could include a Level 4 referral to social services under the category “not engaging in education”. Or it could be referral to the Local Authority Enforcement Officer ultimately for prosecution. Please see our Attendance Policy on the website or ask for a copy.
Lastly Illness: You MUST contact us on the first day of your child’s absence. If you do not contact us, we will make an attempt to contact you. If you do not contact us, the absence will be unauthorised. If we have any concerns about your wellbeing or safety, the police may be called. Public Health has advised there is a wider set of symptoms that could be Covid e.g. headache, sore throat, diarrhoea, sickness, dizziness, etc. If your child is off with these symptoms we strongly advise you to take them for a test, and keep your child at home until they are well enough to return.
I hope that by following this guidance, we can keep everyone in school safe and happy and look forward to your full support as the children return.
Deborah Richards (Mrs)