I was not expecting to be in touch so soon after the end of term but we have been thrown a curve ball by the government in the dying moments of the Autumn Term.
Many of you may have read that testing in schools is going to be implemented in January. Very little information has been provided, although we know testing will not be compulsory. In order to facilitate this testing, secondary schools have been told (not advised) to reduce the number of children in school in the first week of next term. Therefore, for the week commencing 4 January, only the following children will be physically in Senior School:
- Year 11
- Year 6 – as a primary year group, they are unaffected by the new directive
- vulnerable children
- children of critical workers
Pupils in Years 7-10, not in one of the last two categories, will be taught remotely for the first week of term. Whilst this is not ideal, I know my colleagues will, once again, rise to the challenge and support the pupils in the exceptional way they did from March to July.
If you are a critical worker, with a child in Years 7-10, and would like your child in school during the first week of term, please complete the form below and email it to Claire Bellerby (Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org) by 30 December. Please only use this provision when you are working as a critical worker; you can choose which days you require. Limiting the number of pupils in school will allow us to combine year groups in school (whilst socially distanced) and concentrate our efforts supporting all pupils in Years 7-10. Please note that the children in school in Years 7-10 will not be taught: they will be supervised whilst accessing the remote programme the other pupils will be accessing at home.
I know this news is not ideal and will present logistical difficulties for some parents. Sadly, we have no discretion over this and must follow the ‘guidance’. We have been told further guidance will be issued in due course and I will send an update before the beginning of term. This will include an outline of the online learning programme for the week, which will be delivered via Teams.
Pupils in the Junior School, including the Nursery, are not affected by the changes and should attend as normal. We will also be running all our usual bus services.
Once again, and hopefully for the last time, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a lovely, safe, Christmas.
With best wishes