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Information Letter

Wednesday 13th May 2020

Dear Parents,

We hope that this correspondence finds you safe and well. Teaching staff have enjoyed hearing from you over the past weeks and have kept me updated as to how you are all getting along. We have appreciated seeing photographs from many of you sent to our home learning email addresses. It is heart-warming to see children and families making the best of things whilst enduring great hardship.

As you would expect we have been planning for an increase of pupil numbers attending school for some time now, and how we can do this safely. Safe for children. Safe for Staff. Safe for families.

Following on from the Government announcement on Sunday and further guidance issued subsequently, we are now preparing for the possibility of Reception and Year One returning from 1st June and as such we are working through planning for this eventuality. The Government also shared that schools should open for Year Six to support transition to secondary. I am hopeful of receiving some further guidance as to whether this may include our Year Five children to support their transition to middle school. I share the link for guidance for parents here; please take time to read this advice carefully.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june

The Government have shared that they understand schools cannot ensure social distancing but we have to put in as many measures as possible to limit contact and mixing in larger groups. Whilst Government guidance encourages parents to send children to school it also confirms that parents will not be fined for not sending children to school.

We recognise that this has been a challenging time for children and their families and we are all very much looking forward to the children returning to school when this can happen safely. To enable this, the school will be following government guidance as it is released. There is likely to be some decision making and planning at a local level to ensure compliance. As always, at the heart of any plan is our children and their families, and how we can support their return in the best possible way. We must highlight though and prepare parents for the likelihood that the way the school practically operates will inevitably be very different from the way it did before the lockdown. These plans will of course be relayed to you prior to children returning, and I appreciate your continued patience and support whilst we undertake these efforts.

The challenge now will be the practical solutions to the tasks we have been set. It will really help us if you would complete this short questionnaire so we can find out your views about your child returning to school. This will help us in the immediate and rapid planning we need to put in place over the next few days. Please be assured, whatever the scenario we find ourselves in, we will do our very best.

However, for the moment little has changed. We are continuing to offer childcare provision every weekday, for those parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response.

We continue to provide activities for learning at home, keep in contact with you, our families, and to continue to support each other in these very difficult and uncertain times. We will keep you informed but for now please try not to worry, we will communicate when we have some definite plans going forward. Please continue to check the website Home Learning pages for updated learning activities and remember whatever you manage to achieve is enough. Celebrate this and all of the positives, smile and say well done (to your child and to yourself!).

Free School Meals

All families eligible for Free School Meals will have received the e-codes to download for food vouchers. Given the unprecedented circumstances there may be families who have become eligible for free school meals and it is possible to register for this with Worcestershire County Council using this link: http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20062/schools/684/applying_for_free_school_meals.

Food Distribution

You may be aware that some Food Banks have struggled to acquire certain items during the lockdown. We have been in touch with Vale Caring Hands Food Bank and they would be grateful of any supplies, but below is a list of items they are very low on:

- toothbrushes

- shampoo

- tinned meats (corned beef, chopped ham etc)

Meals in tins (ravioli, meatballs, mince, hot dogs etc)

- instant mash

- rice

- tinned rice pudding

- tinned fruit

- jams/marmalades

- tinned spaghetti

If you feel you wish to contribute, please drop off any items outside the school office as you pass by. Mrs Freeman is also happy to collect from homes where families are self isolating, or would find it difficult to get to school. Thank you Mrs Freeman! Please email Mrs Evans to let her know if this is the case. We will then be able to deliver the contributions to the Food Bank, but we also wish to offer delivery of any donated items to our families who need them due to the current situation. Please also contact the school office in strictest confidence if this is something that would help you.

After four years of being lucky enough to be the Headteacher of our wonderful school I am no longer surprised at the generosity of spirit of our families and children, and the support that we receive from them, I am simply very proud.

With very best wishes to all,

 

Rob Bothma

Headteacher

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