St SwithunWells Catholic Primary School

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Remainder of the School Year

Dear Parents,

I can only express my disappointment with the news that was announced yesterday from the Government about the difficulties of more children coming back to school before September, especially for those children in years 2-5. Firstly, I know what a fantastic job every parent has done in juggling supporting your child/ren's well-being and school work whilst continuing to work at home, often in very challenging circumstances. You have been incredible and you should be so proud of what you have done. The children who have come back to school are confident, independent and relaxed - I'm sure they represent many of those who haven't come back in and it is because of the wonderful job you all have done.

I know over the last few weeks, some of the decisions we have taken haven't been perfect and we don't always get it right. Parents have been placed in a very difficult position over the last 10 weeks - not everything will have gone perfectly, but by doing your best you have supported the children when they needed you most.

Since half term, we have welcomed back into school EY and Year 1 and today Year 6 children plus key workers from years 2-5.  We have 11 Bubble groups across the school which gives us the capacity for 165 children. We currently have 117 children in school meaning we have room for about another 50 children in school! When we were asked to plan for the return of children in EY, year 1 and 6, all children in these year groups were allocated a space - but none of these Bubbles are full to capacity. The outcome of this, is that it has reduced our capacity to open Bubbles for children in Years 2-5 beyond the key worker groups because all our rooms and available adults are teaching throughout the day. It also means teachers have no time to continue with ZOOM calls and direct contact with families. Therefore, gaps in these Bubbles is frustrating!

I know from the survey some parents said they would not be sending their child/ren back to school until September and others are keeping their options open and may or may not send them back in. I am also aware that some key worker families have made regular use of the school over the entire 10 weeks of lockdown.

I am extremely concerned about the children in years 2-5 who are not able to come into school at the moment and am actively looking at how we can accommodate them before the end of term, and therefore I am asking for the following support from our families.

1. If your child/ren are in EY, Year 1 or Year 6 and you have made the decision for them not to come to school before September, please let us know.

2. If you are planning for your child/ren to come back to school and they are in EY, Year 1 or Year 6, please let us know the date they will be returning - this date needs to be fixed and it will mean they are back in school full time.

3. If you are a key worker, especially if your child/ren have been in school throughout the lockdown, would you consider keeping your children at home for a couple of days each week, so that we could let some children who have not been in school come in, instead. Please do let us know.

4. If your child/ren is in years 2-5 and you are not a key worker but would like them to come back to school, please let us know.

As a community, we have always pulled together during times of difficulties and I would really appreciate it, if we can work together to support some of the children who are at home at the moment and need some experience of school before the holidays.

Best wishes

Miss Clark

Head teacher