Update 28th May

It has been so lovely to complete a term where COVID has not loomed quite as large and school life seems to be returning to normal. That is not to say we are underestimating any potential risk and it looks very much as though ‘bubbles’ and staggered starts etc will be with us until at least the end of this academic year.

COVID regulations

Staff continue to test twice weekly and will continue to do so over the holidays. I really hope you will all be able to get out and about a bit more and even get away next week! Please do, however, be vigilant for any symptoms and test if you are in any doubt. In the very unfortunate event of any member of your immediate family testing positive over the holidays, please do inform me. This is particularly relevant until Monday when a confirmed case would have implications for your child’s bubble.

Looking ahead to next term, we are going to try to normalise things as much as we can but, like yourselves no doubt, we are waiting for confirmation of how far things can ease after June 21st. The local authority have notified us today that we should organise end of year events with caution and inform a Local Resilience Forum to ensure we do not breach regulations or incur a fine! Their advice is as follows:

“It is expected that the guidance for 21 June will be circulated no more than 7 days in advance of any relaxation in restrictions, therefore events planned for the latter part of June and July will need to consider this uncertainty.”

As such, we are not sure whether we will be able to hold Sports Days at this stage but will hopefully be able to at least organise some sort of ‘bubble only’ event towards the end of term. If parent spectators are allowed, we will try to give you as much notice as possible.

A whole school end of year performance will not be possible primarily because singing indoors, without social distancing, is still not allowed. We will however, try to organise some sort of Year 5 and 6 performance outside so the Year 6 children at least get the opportunity to take part in what has traditionally been a ‘rite of passage’ at Yardley. Similarly, we are also hoping that the Year 6 leavers celebrations can be as normal as possible.

In other words, we will do all that we can to ensure the end of year is as normal as possible but please bear with us as there may be last minute arrangements or adjustments!

Boys’ Reading

You may recall in my last email that I explained we are looking into the gap between boys and girls attainment in reading. This is a national issue but also replicated to a certain extent in our school. The trial of our boys’ Reading and Writing Club is going really well and the boys’ excitement and enthusiasm has been amazing. To give us the fullest picture of boys’ reading behaviours, if you have boys that attend our school, we would really appreciate it if you could complete the survey below:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=1H5lr2x-AkuoGAJeI3gMRFzzVWRvSMhAmRWujldDFutUN0MwUEVHMFpCVzRKNFhHR0VPODVOOVdOQi4u

We are not checking up on you and it will be anonymous! We are just trying to get as clear a picture of boys reading habits as we can so we can ensure any plans we put in place are appropriately targeted.

Supporting Anxious Children: Parent Presentation

As you are all aware, as a school, we place a huge importance on developing children’s social and emotional wellbeing as well  as academic ability. The charity Making Me, who have supported us with the Feelings Flowers and Shields of Resilience, have offered to hold a Zoom based session for parents on how to support an anxious child at home. As a parent myself, I know that on many occasions, I would have loved some advice and support with this. The session will be hosted by us but Liz Fordham, who many of you met at our initial parent sessions, would deliver a 30/40 minute presentation; there would be an opportunity to ask questions at the end. It would be in the evening around 7pm. So I can gauge interest, if this is something that you would like to attend, please could you drop me a line.

As always, please come back to me if you have any questions or comments about any of the above.

Have a lovely half-term and enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather at last! We will see you all back on Monday June 7th.