Dear Parents and Carers
When I last wrote to you I shared the decision that our Directors of the Holy Family Multi Academy Trust had made that all the schools in the trust, would be working towards the 15th June as a date for wider opening of our school, dependent on any DFE advice we received in between times. As I write, I am pleased to confirm that this remains the date we are working towards.
Whit Half term
Since that letter we have had our half-term break which I hope you and your children still managed to enjoy. School remained open during half-term for our children whose parents are key workers and a large number of staff volunteered to come in and support that provision to the extent that we had far too many staff. I am very proud of their commitment to doing the best for our pupils and extremely grateful for them once again being willing to go the extra mile for them.
Years 10 and 12 Face to Face
As you may have seen the announcements over half term confirmed that Years 7 to 9 would not be returning to the school buildings before the end of this academic year and that Years 10 and 12 would be offered a face to face provision but that only a maximum of 25% of them could be in the building at any one time.
In the light of this, we have been developing our plans as to what the face to face provision for Years 10 and 12 will be. We have been contacting the families of these year groups to gather information as to whether they will be willing to return to school to take advantage of this provision. We are now drawing up the plans as to what the face to face will actually be and, separately, will share how this will work with the parents and carers in those year groups.
Keeping everyone safe
As has been the case with any decision we have made so far, it has always been in the light of the health and safety guidance we receive from the professional health and safety experts we employ, who draw on the latest DFE guidance and the best practice across the education sector.
This week, in preparation for wider opening we introduced a “bubble” model in school for our key worker children this week. This is where a group of children (maximum 15) remain together for the day including over lunch and break. The layout and rules in place regarding a minimum of 2m social distancing and the fact that children cannot mix with the children from a different bubble are important elements of this. The children have responded very well to this which has been much appreciated.
Continuing home learning
Given what I have said above it is clear that home learning is going to be the predominant experience for most of our children between now and the end of this academic year. As you might expect, given how quickly we had to implement a very new approach to learning, we are continuing to learn what is working well from your feedback and from conversations with other schools and will continue to revisit this. For example during lockdown we have introduced an online package called Hegarty maths rather than mathswatch, which we have used for many years, and have had very positive feedback from pupils as to how helpful it has been in supporting their learning in mathematics.
Term dates 2020/21
We have received a number of queries about term dates for the next academic year and I can confirm that they are now on the college website.
Can I finish for now by thanking you for your support and understanding for your children and for our staff who are rising so impressively to meet the unprecedented challenges. As we have seen over recent weeks the situation and advice can change very quickly and I will write again with any significant news. Please look after yourselves.