Our school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. We expect all staff, visitors and volunteers to share this commitment.
If you have any concerns regarding the safeguarding of any of our pupils please contact the school
Our Child Protection and Safeguarding policies can be found here
I am sure that you will have seen the recently announced plans by the Government for the opening of schools from September.
As you know it has always been our desire to get all our children back to school through a full school opening September.
At the time of writing, I am confident due to the on going commitment and flexibility already being shown by school staff to make this happen, we can address the criteria outlined in the government guidance to schools and provide a typical Heatherlands education experience for all our children that is as risk free as we can make it under the circumstances.
It is however important to note, that many of the current systems we have adopted during this COVID crisis that have proved to be successful in managing our current partial school opening, will have to remain in place as we look to open more widely in September. This will of course mean the need for parents to continue to be flexible and accommodating to help us achieve a workable model as we scale up our numbers which will keep us all safe. I have no doubt by working together across the community and following the plans we can also make the full school opening successful for all.
Over the coming days we will be planning the best way to overcome the logistical challenges faced by a full school opening and I would therefore ask for your patience while we come up with workable and safe solution. We are also aware that some children might be anxious about the return to school and as such we are committed to supporting them both pastorally and academically. As soon as we have finalised all of our plans and risk assessments, We will of course share them with you.
The last months have certainly presented our school community with many challenges but I am so proud and grateful for the way in which everyone have risen to the challenges and overcome everything that has been asked of them. I thank you all for the part you have played in this and also the support that I am sure you will give to your children as we embrace the next phase of a full return to school in September.
I will be in touch in due course with our final plans which will adhere to government guidance to enable us to be once again together in September and begin the process of getting our children back on track.
I want to thank all our parents across our local community for your support, encouraging words, tolerance and patience as we continue to navigate through these strange and uncertain times.
As you may be aware some children returned this week in the Early Years, Year 1, Year 6, key worker children and those deemed vulnerable in line with government policy.
Naturally everyone was apprehensive on Monday morning but as soon as the first children weaved their way across the playground with smiles on their faces, 2 metres apart, we all relaxed and got on with it. The pre planning and risk assessments for the children we have the capacity to take played an important part in us being successful enabling us to create our 'bubbles' and keep our children and adults safe, well and importantly, smiling.
It is important to say, that the children have been a real credit to all those parents whose children have attended this week. I expected nothing less of course from our amazing children as they highlighted just how resilient, kind and adaptable they are throughout this week. Please pass on our thanks to the children from all of the staff for demonstrating every day the 'Heatherlands Way' in all its glory.
I would also like to thank parents who have turned up on time, at the right gate and socially distancing throughout this week. This modelling to the children of a united community and the support offered to us, has helped everyday to enable us to do our job.
Finally I would like to thank all those parents who continue to work with your children at home for your patience and resolve. I know it must be frustrating and upsetting at times as I know you all want the very best for your children and understand the value and importance of education.
Please continue to seek support and advice via the year group emails which are set up to respond to your concerns or queries. They can also be a forum for a simple chat or just to share how your feeling at this difficult time.
Finally, remember when we return to be together as a whole school in the near future, we will assess, teach and begin the process of closing any gaps in your child's knowledge and understanding.
Please therefore just continue to do the best you can, we can ask no more of each of you .
We look forward to seeing the children who are in, on Monday as we start week 2.
Have a good weekend and stay safe.
Although we know that the possible return to school on June 1st for some year groups in the current climate will remain a challenge, I want to share some examples of the markings that the children will see on their playgrounds next week. These are designed to help with self distancing measures and keep children safe whilst outside.
It would therefore be helpful, if parents and carers could perhaps talk through these markings if your children are returning to school next week, to help reassure them that they can still interact and have face to face contact with their friends. Children as we know are very resourceful, adaptable and creative.
Later this week, I will also be sharing with you how the cleaning team are keeping Heatherlands sanitised and hygienic in line with guidance and advice.
Stay alert and safe
Dealing with Apprehension or Anxiety on Return to School
In this eight minute film, Dr Jess Richardson. principal clinical psychologist (National & Speciliast CAMHS and Maudsley), provides straightforward, important suggestions for parents and teachers to deal with any potential apprehension or anxiety children may experience on returning to school.