Update 23rd June
I hope you have all had a lovely weekend and are looking forward to the glorious weather this week!
Whilst we are still very much pre-occupied with the logistics for this academic year, we are now looking ahead to September when, as per the government announcement on Friday, we are very much hoping to see the return of all children full time. We will await the details of this from the government over the next couple of weeks but are anticipating that the current maximum class size of 15 will be increased.
I am delighted to say that, in September, we are not making any changes to our classes or teachers and will continue with the current amazing team of teachers and teaching assistants. I am sure most of you know our structure and teachers already but, just in case, the classes are as follows:
Class One: Reception and Nursery: Amber Hayfield
Class Two: Years One and Two: Emily Spooner
Class Three: Years Three and Four: Andy Baker and Kim Beasant
Class Four: Years Five and Six: Bernie Nevison and Shannon Rutter
Very shortly, you will be contacted by your child’s current class teacher to arrange a ‘Zoom’ transition meeting with the teacher for next year (if applicable). We are hoping to start these this week. This will be just one element of our plans to support transition into next year which I do know is an area of concern for many parents.
One aspect for discussion at this meeting will be your child’s report. You will recall last year that we wrote a much shorter report in favour of a one to one transition meeting; the same applies this year. The writing of reports has proved to be a little tricky this year in view of the amount of time children have been out of school. In many instances, you know more about how the children are working than we do! The requirement to complete end of key stage assessments has been removed. The government have, however, stipulated that some form of report still needs to be sent out. The last up to date assessment data that we have for all children was collated at Easter just after schools shut. We have decided to use this information to complete a very simple report in which each teacher will use their professional judgement to assess whether children are working at age related expectations, or are exceeding or working towards them. This will be done for all subjects across the curriculum. The teacher will also indicate the effort made which, where possible, will reflect the recent interaction with home schooling.
Reports will be emailed out from this week ahead of any transition meetings. We are not sending them all out on a specific day because the circumstances for each year group and teachers vary. We will ensure that they are sent out ahead of the transition meeting so you can discuss any of the content if you wish to, as well as any potential ‘catch up’ plans for your child.
There has been a lot of speculation in the press about ‘catch up’ over the last couple of days. Please rest assured that we are already looking into how to best provide this in the new academic year, including booster classes and one to one teaching. To put your mind at rest though, we have been very pleased with the children who we have returned to school and with the standards that have been achieved throughout home schooling. The determination to complete the work uploaded and the amount of individualised tuition has definitely paid dividends. Well done to you all!
There will inevitably be the odd area for development but we will pick this up on the children’s return in September when the teachers will baseline assess all the children. At this point, if we feel there is a need for ‘catch up’, we will let you know together with a plan on how to address the gaps. I know the government have expressed views about ‘catch up plans’ but these will only be effective if they are based on a robust assessment of the level at which the child is working. We do not believe that the current end of term return to school is the most appropriate context for assessment, particularly if this is only for one week. Re-adjusting to school routines and enjoying socialising and interacting with peers is much more suitable than assessing! That is not to say that the teachers will not be teaching and will, therefore, inevitably get an idea of the levels at which the children are working.
I hope I have reassured you that we have transition and ‘catch up’ covered. We get confused about what we see in the press so goodness knows what it must be like from your point of view! If there is anything in this that you need clarification with, then please get in touch or, by all means, raise it at your transition meeting.
I look forward to seeing nearly all of you at some point before term end!