Full School Reopening in September

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I hope this finds you well. These are the main items to inform you of this week.

School opening in September
By now I am sure you will have heard that the government expects all children to return to school in September. The staff and I are looking forward to this return, as the months of lockdown have been as frustrating for us as I know they have been for you. It will be lovely to welcome all of the children back, but we know the serious challenges which we face to ensure that we keep everyone as safe as we can and minimise the risk posed by this dreadful virus.

With this in mind, I am meeting with the staff to put together detailed guidance for you to follow in September. This will be sent out via the app in the first week of the holidays, and we will be keeping in touch where needed via email over the holidays. Just to ensure you are clear about basic expectations at this stage, the main headlines are:

• We will be welcoming all children except new reception back to school on Thursday 3rd September, full time. New reception children will have an induction period and we are meeting with parents of these children either on Monday 20th July to discuss further.
• Unlike the lockdown situation, attendance will be compulsory unless your child is shielding due to coronavirus. Registers will resume as normal.
• Uniform will be expected to be worn in full.
• School dinners will resume, universal free school meals will resume from Reception to Year 2 and unless key stage 2 children are eligible for free school meals, dinners will need to purchased as before.
• Gates will open at 8.30 and close at 9.00 am and you will be designated either the front or playground entrance gate to drop children off, depending on your child’s class and whether you have more than one child at school. This is a challenging plan to make and we may not get it right first time, but we will, with your support, make adjustments as we go. It was important to try to avoid staggered times for different classes as I know this would present you with a nightmare if you have more than one child!

• Gates will open at the end of the day from 3pm, and you will return to the drop off point.
• We are currently risk assessing for the availability of wraparound care (breakfast and after school clubs) as we want to reinstate this in some form as soon as possible. We will keep you informed of this.
• As I say, when you receive the guidance handbook, you will need to read this in full so that you are ready to comply with all safety requirements.

Farewells to staff
In addition to our saying farewell to Mrs Knipe, Mr Johnston and Miss Yasmin, we will also be saying farewell to Miss Andrews, who is leaving us to seek an early years position closer to home. We wish her well and thank her for her three years of service in the Early Years at Bells Farm. We are in the process of recruiting a replacement for the post of Year 4 teacher In September and will advise you as soon as we have appointed.

Year 6
I can’t express just how much I and the staff will miss this wonderful class and how cheated we all feel that they have not had the usual send off shared with you, their parents and carers. Just to let you know though, that we are doing all we can to make their last days special. There will be a picnic party for them on the last Thursday afternoon, a little celebratory assembly with the staff on Friday, and we are recording something lovely from them on DVD which will be freely available to all year 6 parents to keep. I am also happy to be able to invite the whole class back as soon as it is safe to do so, for a proper Bells Farm Year 6 party. I cannot say when this will be but it will be on a Saturday, and will be longer celebration than we normally have. So try not to grow out of that party gear too quickly year 6!

Book swap
This week will be the last book swap on Thursday as we are welcoming children back for their half days next week. We would love to see as many of you as possible as this will be the last chance to get some reading material for the long holiday.

I will write again next week, but in the meantime, enjoy your week, stay safe and I look forward to seeing so many our children back for a short time next week.

Kind regards,

Barbara Butterworth

Tags: Coronavirus

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