I hope you and your family have enjoyed a restful and enjoyable summer as we all continue to navigate our way through these strange and unprecedented times.
As millions of children across the country prepare to return to school after a long absence, I want to reassure you that we are continuing our preparations to welcome all the children back to school on Monday September 7th using the designated entrances and set timings.
As you can appreciate returning 630 children back to school is a huge undertaking generally but at this time it is particularly challenging and relies upon everyone working together and following the rules, this including staff, parents and children to help ensure we can try and keep everyone safe and well.
One key change you may have noticed has been the necessity to make the school site an adult free zone to ensure we can socially distance effectively and keep the children and staff safe. At this point it does not include our new entrant families who will be allowed onto site initially as they settle the youngest children into school for the first time.
Please be reassured there will staff at every gate entrance should you wish to share any messages or information at the start or end of day. Class teachers will be on the playground to greet the children and school leaders' will also be visible in high viz vests should you wish to make contact. Meetings on site can be arranged where appropriate by contacting the school office in the first instance.
Whilst I appreciate that preventing site access and having to get to your specific entrance gates on time may present some additional walking, inconvenience, or unintended consequences it is essential to help us remain operational in line with guidance and our risk assessments. Your understanding and support from the outset will be key to a successful start to the new school year.
School leaders' will be monitoring all our systems and procedures on a regular basis and where necessary we will make slight changes and tweaks to again ensure we can confidently remain fully operational safely.
It is worth noting that during lockdown where everyone followed the rules we were able to operate a successful school model from March- July and this experience offers us confidence to draw upon as we move forward with a larger group of children.
We are all very much looking forward to welcoming the children back to school and to begin the job of assessing their needs and closing any gaps in their learning. I remain grateful to all families who have done their very best in difficult circumstances to engage in what became known as 'home schooling'
We are also very aware that some of early our focus will centre around reassuring children and providing well being and anxiety support where appropriate. As you know we will do our very best to help all the children of Heatherlands both cope and flourish no matter what the circumstances. We are ready!
Finally, I would like to ask that you continue to discuss the return to school with your children, helping reassure them and explaining that things will be slightly different but they will be with friends in their Year group bubbles. Additionally it is important to remind them of the importance of following the rules including social distancing and personal hygiene. It is important to note that to keep everyone safe, children who are unable to follow the rules will be sanctioned in line with guidelines which can include fixed term exclusions.
Malala Yousafzai said, Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world
See you Monday