We are delighted that we are now preparing to re-open to all children in September. Our extensive Risk Assessment will be sent to the LA for approval so that in Thursday’s newsletter, we will be able to outline those basic things that families will need to know in order get the autumn term off to a safe, happy and confident start.
Following her Maternity Leave, Miss Pratt will return to St. Martin’s on a Wednesday and Thursday. Next year she will teach across the school covering release time for other staff so most children will have an opportunity to enjoy learning with her before the year ends.
We were utterly delighted by the DFE’s announcement that we can all return to school in September. In the newsletter on 16th July, we shall share plans about what re-opening will look like at St. Martin's and what we can do to help children to prepare for the return. We could not be more impressed by the resilience demonstrated by the whole community and we are especially mindful of what life has been like for those children who have not crossed our threshold since March. Your goodwill and trust have made it possible for us to execute the DFE’s plans, knowing that the enforced exclusion of certain groups of children has been beyond painful for us all. If you are keen to learn more about the plans for September, as envisaged by the government, check out https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak
As you know, the government has suggested that schools might now try to welcome back children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 but sadly, that is not possible at St Martin’s unless distancing requirements change dramatically. Next week, we are expecting another DFE announcement about their plans for the new academic year and we are desperately hoping that we will be allowed to re-open to all children on September 3rd. We appreciate that many children will have missed important and reassuring transition events this term and we are considering how we can address this…watch this space!
The DfE does not intend to ask schools to remain open over the summer period for the children of critical workers so the LA is currently collating an overview of the paid-for holiday provision that will be available over the summer break for families that would like to access this. We shall share more information as it becomes available.
Lastly, this continues to be a year like no other and the ongoing feedback, support and trust from our community to priceless – thank you.
On Friday, the government announced that we are to be allowed to drop restrictions on class sizes so that all pupils will be able to attend full-time from September. The Prime Minister has also pledged a billion pounds that will be spent in the first 9 months of next year to help children in England make up for their lost time in the classroom since March.
Should these plans come to pass, we will be so delighted and relieved to be able to invite every St Martin’s child back into school. We realise that some children, and their families, have found the loss of school more difficult than others and we can only thank you for your patience and faith during the isolating and challenging months since lockdown began.
As a school, we are not keen on ‘count downs’ as we strive to cherish every day but the thought that there are now a finite number of days until we are reunited is a joyful one indeed.
"Look at what we can do when we come together."
Approximately 1.3 million children in England will now be able to claim Free School Meal vouchers throughout the summer holidays as the result of a campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53065806
We understand that many families’ incomes will have been affected by the coronavirus crisis so we urge you to apply for this benefit if you think you might be eligible. Applications can be made on paper or online and if you need support to apply, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We have been open for key worker children throughout COVID-19 and since 1 June, we have welcomed back children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
A few days ago, the government announced they would not expect primary schools to reopen for all year groups. Instead, we have been invited to welcome additional pupils back into school if we have capacity and can do so safely.
As has been the case throughout this troubling time, we shall continue to carefully consider what is possible for our school. We long for a time when we can learn as a whole school once more but for now, working within government guidelines is non-negotiable and safety must come first.
To families in the invited groups, thank you for keeping to the safe distancing measures that we put in place. For those families with children learning offsite, thank you for your endless support. We appreciate that yours can be a challenging role as you strive to deliver the curriculum within the confines of your home.
We shall continue to keep you updated and hope that you are all managing to stay safe and well.