Update for families Friday 12th March 2021
1. Rates of infection are still very much lower now and going down. Cases have more than halved in Wychavon in the last 2 weeks.
2. We have loved being able to welcome the children back. Seeing hundreds of smiling faces walk past me on the gate every day is a joy!
3. We were expecting a very positive bounce back and we predicted right! Very strong attendance, excellent behaviour and a quick return to routines. We can all feel the relief. We are supporting all families to return to normal schooling.
4. It’s week 1 next week. Remember, they’ll be coming into school in PE kit on the days they have PE.
5. Symptoms reminder. We are all aware of the 3 main Covid-19 symptoms. If your child has other symptoms, give us a ring to discuss them, please.
6. Bubble Closure. Sadly and frustratingly, 2 Year 6 forms have had to self-isolate for 10 days following a case in the community. We acted with caution in applying the risk assessment guidance in conjunction with public health advice. A member of staff has also had to work from home. We have redistributed laptops where needed and the children are getting a diet of remote and live lessons.
7. I’d like to thank (on behalf of all families, staff and governors) Mrs. Sadler, Mrs. Rose, Mrs. Gaden, Miss Callighan, Mrs. Comack and the Techies. The effort they put in to organise and then test all the children involved in LFDs (about 740 individual tests – all negative) was nothing short of miraculous! We have opened without disruption or higher risk of transmission.
8. LFD test kits for children: these will be sent home with the children (please see the consent ParentMail today) involved with the Y7 & Y8 testing programme. Expect them sometime next week. The instructions are in the boxes.
9. LFD tests for parents and carers (and other adults in the household) of our pupils. You can these tests (to administer at home) from:
· Your employer (they may not yet know much about this offer, possibly).
· Collect some test kits from sites. https://find-covid-19-rapid-test-sites.maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/
· Order kits to be delivered. https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
· Take a test at a LFD test site. https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/
10. Masks/face coverings in classrooms are different for some. It is not compulsory for pupils to wear masks in school, although most do. The pupils are managing so well with them. We are advising pupils that they are allowed to remove their face covering briefly if it starts to be an issue, including when communicating.
11. Uniform and equipment: I’m impressed with how good uniform is this week! We will continue to be kind regarding this. Reminder, pupils need: a full pencil case (they can’t share with friends but we will give them items if they are struggling); a reading book; a water bottle (or 2). Don’t worry about things like football boots at the moment – we’ll let you know if this changes.
12. Bus bay: no cars/drop-offs at all in the bus bay.
13. Vaccinations: staff are beginning to get these more and more.
14. Survey. We are reviewing how well we have coped with all the stop-start restrictions over the last 12-month period and planning how to maintain provision as we move forwards. We have been motivated and uplifted by the welter of praise and thanks over this difficult time. I’d like to unpick some of your thoughts around the various aspects of school life recently. Please fill in the survey – a few minutes of your time will be really useful to us.
15. What is our aim for this next ‘recovery’ period: we want happy, hard-working & well-behaved pupils. Getting back into the routines. Enjoying the contact with others in a calm and civilised way. Having fun through learning. We know that they will be a little rusty and we will need to take care to get the basics right. We will be listening to them, watching to see how they are, get them back to learning effectively, scoop up those who are struggling a bit more than usual. Don’t expect a wave of tests! Love Respect Endeavour: we will show our respect to the pupils by the way we care for them at this difficult time.
16. How can you help?
· Look for changes in your child’s behaviour and mood.
· Talk to your child – are they feeling anxious, excited, relieved? These mood swings can be strong indicators that they are struggling to cope with big feelings. Talking about things can often take the heat out of the situation – remember things are rarely as good or as bad as we imagine. Find a time to listen to them.
· Be patient – everything might take a little more time.
· Have the children identified the 3 or 4 staff that they feel most comfortable talking to about their worries?
· Try out their uniform and shoes now: we know they will have grown and the shops are not all open.
· Sleep: Y8s particularly look a bit bleary-eyed!
The local authority have created this useful video for families about the return to school. https://youtu.be/YUoKV8F4YT4
17. New appointments: I am pleased to announce that we have a new Head of Design Technology. Mr. McBride joins us from September. We feel he is a great fit for our school. Mrs. Burgess (lollipop lady) is joining the Lunchtime Supervisors' team from Monday. The children already know her well. Two more to the team!
Have a great weekend.