Opening the school to more children We are very sorry that we cannot open to all our children yet. We had plans ready to go, but the Government direction is clear, and we cannot launch any of those plans at this stage.
We have another plan now, which I shall outline here, but I ask you to be aware that the Government direction comes through daily, often clarifying or changing policies, and it remains a very real possibility that this plan, also, will have to be abandoned right up to the last minute depending on what is published from the Government on that day.
We are suggesting now that we close the school to Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 6 on Friday 17th July, giving them a couple of days extra on their summer holiday. We will then use these two days, Monday 20th July and Tuesday 21st July, to offer children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 the chance to come into school in small groups for transition work before the start of school in September.
They will be able to familiarise themselves with their classrooms, re-establish contact with some of their classmates and meet their teacher. We plan that they will spend this time in the classrooms that they will attend at the start of the new academic year. So the Year 2 children will go into Sarum classroom as Year 3s and meet their new teachers, and so on up the school.
We will let you know which classroom your child will be in, for the class splits, shortly before the transition days. Teachers will be finalising the class splits, making their decisions using teacher assessment from before the lock down and also using evidence from the work that has been submitted to them over the lockdown through Moodle.
I must emphasise that this plan might also have to be abandoned at short notice. But we thought it would be worth presenting it to you so that you can pencil dates into your diary. I am very sorry that there is so little certainty – I know how frustrating this is as you try to arrange child care and prepare your child for their return to school. But we need to work together to win the fight against the corona virus successfully and we need to be patient as the situation unfolds.
What about next academic year? The first time we, as school leaders, know what the future holds is when the Government makes their announcements on the BBC. So the information will come through to you at the exact moment it comes through to us. Again, I am very sorry that we cannot give more clarity on this, but we honestly have absolutely no idea what pattern of return we might be facing in the new school year.
I can promise that whatever they tell us to do, it will have been one of the many options that we have already considered and laid tentative plans to enable to happen, and that we will absolutely make sure that children come into a school that is well prepared, welcoming and fun to attend, whatever it looks like.
Spaces in school Usually at this time, we are inundated with parents asking for places in our school for their children, but because of the lockdown, people have had other things on their minds. As a result, we do have a few precious spaces for new children who will, as you know, be offered an outstanding education here. If you know of anyone who might like to transfer their children here, please let them know that we do, unusually, have a little spare capacity at present.
Summer Holidays Up until this year, we always have been able to offer a couple of weeks of holiday club through summer holidays at Holy Trinity but, sadly, our provider has closed because of Covid19 and we cannot find another provider. So we will not be able to offer any kind of holiday club this year.
The Government is talking about arranging summer schools – we have no idea what this might mean or how it might be organised but as soon as we know, we shall let you know. I shall not be asking our teachers to work through their summer holidays – they have borne a huge burden through the lockdown, with courage and positivity, managing distance learning, key worker children and the wider opening of school together with their report writing, assessment, leadership duties and professional development. They need to pause for the summer break and then be ready to come back and face whatever the new normal will present to us in September.
We are very sorry for the disruption – we know that childcare over the holidays is going to be complex for many of our families. We hope that the Local Authority may come up with a solution.
Thank you, PFA! A huge thank you to our amazing PFA who donated the money we needed to buy the beautiful boat for the Stonehenge class playground. It is a superb boat and generations of children will have amazing fun playing on and around it. We are very grateful for generosity of our community who help to enrich our children’s lives so much.
Thank you to those who have already donated so generously to the Mathieson Music Trust. They are desperate to continue the amazing work they do in Kolkata with the poorest children and orphans, whose buildings have been destroyed by the cyclone. Please do consider going onto the site and supporting them. The work that they do is so important.
We are pleased to welcome Alma-Ayre to Stonehenge class this week and we extend a big welcome to all her family into the school community. We hope Alma-Ayre settles in well at our school.
A big thank you to everyone who has helped with fundraising in any way this year so far. Thank you for your donations, time and for all the support that you have given to PFA events.
We are very pleased that the boat, paid for using PFA funds, has now been installed in the playground outside Stonehenge classroom and is ready to be enjoyed by the children.
To contact the PFA:
Or get involved with our Facebook page “Holy Trinity (Great Cheverell) PFA”