Dear families of St. Egwin’s,
Each week (where appropriate), I will stream a video update for you and then post a short summary version of it on the website. We are working to refine our communication and believe a choice of a video for 9-10 minutes or a very short summary of it could be the best way to reach the most people.
1. Rates of infection are very much lower now and we believe it is the right time to re-open schools. We can’t wait to welcome the children back! We are expecting a very positive bounce back!
2. We expect the very high percentages of pupils to return as we had in September. The newspapers are full threats of fines and sanctions for families who don’t send their children in. Please do not feel anxious about this. The way that we work with families in the past won’t change. We are a team!
3. We are planning to reopen on the 8th of March. On that Monday, the plan is that all pupils return. To do this, we are having to put a superhuman effort into testing the older children first. I am not sure that putting the burden on schools is a particularly good idea but we are making the best of it given the circumstances.
4. The testing plans that I am going to detail here allow us to comply with government rules.
· Y7 & Y8 families will receive an invitation over the next 24 hours (just like parent/carer evenings) to TWO tests for their children. YOU MUST BOOK TWO! We will conduct these for Y7 on Monday 1st and Thursday 4th, and for Y8 on Tuesday 2nd and Friday 5th.
· School will only be open for Key Worker children. Pupils attending these 2 tests will make their way to the sports hall 10 minutes begore their allocated time; be registered; be tested in the Art room (converted into a testing site); leave the school.
· We will then be able to complete the 3rd test (as instructed by the government plans) in the first week of re-opening with very little disruption to learning.
· After that, children will test themselves under adult supervision at home twice a week. It’s a very simple process. Families will report the result via an NHS website.
· Positive tests will mean the usual isolation for the household.
· We will also carry out a risk assessment to see if any other children or staff have to isolate as close contacts. You will have to let us know of any positive tests, too.
5. School will look pretty much like it did in September: a staggered start to the day; teachers moving around the school and pupils staying in one room; lots of handwashing/sanitising; no sharing of pens and pencils; the year group BUBBLES kept apart. Masks in classrooms will be different. Please make sure you have a supply for your child and a small plastic bag to keep it in.
6. Key worker groups will still be in school up until Friday the 5th.
7. 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: listening to them, watching to see how there are, get back to learning effectively, scooping up those who are struggling a bit more than usual.
8. How can you help?
· Pretend it’s their first day at Middle School. Prepare for it like you did on that day.
· Talk to your child – are they feeling anxious, excited, relieved? Talking about things can often take the heat out of the situation – remember things are rarely as good or as bad as we imagine.
· 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. Having a good uniform will help them feel part of the school. We will be sympathetic while you try to get this spot on.
· Make sure they have masks/plastic bag.
· Make sure they have a pencil case, full water bottle and reading book.
9. Please see below a reminder of the plans that we had in place in September. It’s likely that our arrangements will be very similar.
How school will look: