26 June 2020

As you will be aware, we have been working hard to ensure we can safely widen the re-opening of our academy to more pupils and we have been delighted to welcome back those in year 6 and year 1, as well as increased numbers of pupils attending our keyworker childcare provision. It has been so lovely to see these children and they have all been fantastic at adapting to the new arrangements and a different learning environment to the one they are used to.

On Monday, we are also eagerly looking forward to the return of our reception pupils. As a result, we have adapted the academy day and introduced staggered start and finish times, which will help us to maintain social distancing around the site.

No doubt you will have also heard in the media, following the Prime Minister’s statement, that it is the government’s aim to see more children return to school. We are continuing to follow the government’s guidance, which requires that we limit the numbers of pupils in class ‘bubbles’. Unfortunately, this means that we are not able to extend our on-site provision to children from other year groups before the end of term. We appreciate that this may be disappointing to hear, however accommodating the existing groups has been challenging and we must continue to place the safety of both staff and pupils at the centre of our plans. We will of course do our very best to ensure that our home learning provision remains as good as it can be.

We are also exploring arrangements for transition for all our pupils, to help ensure that all children are supported in settling into their new classes for next year – we will be in touch with further information when the details have been agreed. In the meantime, we have carried out teacher assessments based on our prior knowledge of our pupils, coupled with additional information gained either through learning in the academy or at home – and these will be passed onto their next class teacher and to secondary schools for year 6 pupils. All parents will receive an annual report during the second week of July and you are invited to have a phone conversation with the class teacher to discuss these if you wish, or you can wait until the start of the autumn term to arrange a face-to-face meeting.

You may also be aware that the government has announced that additional funding will be provided to all schools in England to help put in place catch-up support for pupils where it is needed. We will be planning to ensure that this is used to the maximum benefit of pupils in the new academic year.

Throughout the lockdown, many children of keyworkers and other identified groups have benefited from attending the childcare provision. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff for supporting this wholeheartedly. Now that things are returning to a ‘new normal’, it has been agreed that childcare through the summer holidays will not be provided.

If your child is a recipient of the free school meals scheme, we are pleased to advise that the voucher arrangements will continue throughout the summer break and our expectation is that these will be supplied through the same e-voucher scheme currently in place.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions or concerns, and we thank you for your ongoing support.