Update 11th May

I hope you all had a lovely bank holiday weekend and enjoyed the sun while it lasted! 

I am sure, like me, many of you will have watched the Prime Minister’s address to the nation last night.  

You will have heard the Prime Minister indicating that the government believes it may be in a position to implement a phased re-opening of primary schools from 1 June, starting with pupils in reception, year one and year six. This is part of the government’s conditional plan, which it says will remain under regular review.

I am still awaiting further details as to the implications this has for our school in terms of social distancing and the phased return of other year groups. I have been waiting for more information this afternoon but have yet to receive any. The published Government ‘COVID 19 Recovery Document’ states:

“The Government’s ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review. The Department of Education will engage closely with schools and early years providers to develop further detail and guidance on how schools should facilitate this.”

I would just like to reassure you that we will, as always, manage this return with the pupils’ well-being and safety at the centre, alongside that of staff and parents. All of us here at Yardley Hastings want to get as many pupils back into school as soon as it is safe to do so. We do not want to see classrooms empty for a day longer than they need to be and all miss the children enormously.

As a school team, we are currently looking at a variety of strategies to maximise social distancing, including a broader start time and finish, increasing hand sanitizer stations and staggering lunch and break times. I do have to say though, that socially distancing young children, especially reception and year 1, is very, very difficult and, in some aspects, almost impossible.

Some of you may not want to send your children in to school in the current climate and I am seeking clarification on how we can support that. We are also looking at how we can maintain home schooling for years 2, 3, 4 and 5 and for individual children who are not able to attend school.

As soon as I have further details or clarification on the above, I will let you all know.

In the meantime, home schooling continues and we are here to support in whatever way we can. As I have said a few times now, I completely understand how tricky it is for you as parents as you try to juggle so many crucial roles.I would just like to reassure you that you are doing a great job! From my conversation with parents over the last few days, I think you need to hear that. If it didn’t seem too patronising, I would send you all a certificate, never mind the children! Speaking from experience, as parents, we tend to think everyone is doing a better job than us and there is some sort of ‘super-parent’ out there to whom we should all aspire! There is no such thing! Have a read of the attached letter from Mindmap and be kind to yourself.

Your children will not come back to school behind; no one has been fully accessing the whole curriculum. There will be work to catch up on for EVERYONE and that will be our job as teachers to facilitate. Value the time you have at home with your children, turn it into a positive and teach them the skills that I wish I had spent more time educating my children in before they went to university…cooking, cleaning, washing up! We will pick up the academic aspects as each year group comes back into school.

As always, please get in touch if you have any comments or need help and support. I would be particularly interested to hear your views on whether you want your child to come back, so please ring me or email if you have any views on that.

Take care. I will be in touch as soon as I have any more news.

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