Every day the staff of Ash Grange school work together to provide a safe education for your children. The work that the staff of our school have undertaken throughout this lockdown has been tremendous, every day they have been working at home or at school to benefit your child. Mrs Rumsby, the Governors and I are so thankful that we have such a dedicated and committed team of staff. Your support for all we’ve provided has been heart-warming indeed and we all thank you; we have been a true community school.
The government are starting to explore the return of some year bands when the key 5 indicators have been met: (see image below)
This decision will be made on 28th May for the last half term of the summer term (1st June to 23rd July 2020); when it is authorised we will put the reintegration plan into action.
Before I outline our strategy I want to be very clear about what we can and cannot achieve. The idea that we can socially distance in a school is impossible, you know children catch all manner of germs and nits in daily life, so the idea that we can protect children at all times from an invisible virus is completely unrealistic. For the children who have been at school we have put in place all reasonable measures and you can imagine how hard that has been to maintain for young children who see school as a safe place where they usually play, socialise and learn together without worry. That said our children have adjusted remarkably well.
These measures include:
Therefore, it is important to realise any child coming back to school will see these measures in place. I trust this reassures you that we are taking our responsibility very seriously.
We want our school back to normal, we want to educate all children in ways that allow them to thrive but we have a different reality at the moment. Your child is precious and their health and safety is your and our first concern; so deciding to send your child to school is rightly your choice and decision. At this time the government have said there will be no penalty for any parent who chooses to not send their child to school and wishes to continue with home learning which we have provided throughout this time and will do so until the time when school is back to “normal”.
In line with the government’s action plan we are putting in place the planning to bring additional children back to school in the safest and securest way possible, which aims to minimise risks to children, their families and staff from the Coronavirus infection.
The current key worker plus vulnerable children will continue to come to school as they have throughout the lockdown. The government has indicated that the first phase of return is children in the following year group priority order: Nursery, Reception, Y1 and Y6. Please note Nursery children will be offered the pattern that they had pre lockdown, i.e. if they came for mornings they will do a morning in the next phase.
Under the current 2 metre social distancing guidance and our school risk assessment, we have capacity for up to 8 children per classroom. We currently teach 25 children of different ages a day so this occupies 3-4 of our classrooms per day and these children are not allowed to mix with the incoming children. So we will assign each incoming class to it’s normal room and children will attend on a rota basis of at least one day a week, depending on the numbers who take up a place.
In Phase 2 the government have decided that there will be no places available for Years 2, 3, 4 and 5; with the exception of key worker plus children.
We recognise that this is a very difficult decision and ask you to consider carefully whether you want your child to attend or not during the summer second half term. Unfortunately, we cannot facilitate a choice of day model and there will be no flexibility to join later in the half term as places and the rota will be worked on the numbers you provide this week.
If the key indicators are met this plan will begin after half term, Monday 1st June. Remember this is not a fixed date as the scientific evidence must be met to start this phase.
If you have any questions, please contact me through the school office.