It seems no time at all since we were talking about VE Day and our rather muted celebrations and here we are only one week away from half term!
But, oh my goodness what a week! I am sure you all heard the government announcement on Sunday regarding the reopening of schools. All week there has been a flurry of guidance and documentation about how schools might make this work. Throughout all of this my main concern has been – Can I keep the children safe? Can I keep my staff safe?
The government are suggesting schools open for reception children, Year 1 and Year 6 but in groups of no more than 15.
Our initial planning is, as follows, and I must stress it is provisional at this stage:
Oak and Ash classes will be split in two so that we have 4 groups of 15 children.
Two groups will attend school on Monday and Tuesday and the other two will attend Wednesday & Thursday.
Holly & Hazel will also be split into two groups giving us another 4 groups of 15 children. Again, two groups will attend on Monday and Tuesday and the other two will attend Wednesday & Thursday.
Year 6 will be split into 3 groups of 12/13 and will attend school Monday and Tuesdays.
All of these numbers are subject to change if not all parents choose to send their children back to school.
Our keyworker children can continue to attend as they are currently doing but will not be able to join their year groups if they also need to be in school on other days.
School will be closed on Fridays, except for key worker children, for a deep clean.
We are currently in the process of writing appropriate risk assessments to adhere to government guidelines but I think we are all in agreement that the 2m social distancing guidance is going to be almost impossible to enforce.
Plans for a wider opening of school for other years will begin if we see these initial plans working and it will follow a very similar pattern.
Teachers and teaching assistants would be assigned to a particular group and remain with that group, likewise the same teachers will oversee the key worker children. All of this is to avoid any cross contamination.
It is our intention to continue with the home learning activities set each week and these will also form the basis of the teaching for the days any children are in school.
I am sure you will appreciate our plans are in their infancy and subject to change but this is where we are currently.
I have been in close contact with all the other Hitchin Headteachers and we are all following a similar plan. However, please don’t compare us to local schools, we are all different and ultimately I have to make the decision that I believe to be best for my school.
Meanwhile carry on with the wonderful work you are all doing at home. I am very proud of you all!
Keep safe and well and be kind to one another!