12th June 2020
Planning for school reopening
We are missing the children very much and look forward to beginning the process of reopening our school very soon. The school is not the same without seeing your lovely faces and the corridors are quiet without you.
You will be aware of Education Minister Kirsty Williams’s statement last week, that schools are to reopen to all pupils from Monday, the 29th of June. On Wednesday, 10th June the Welsh Government published guidance to assist school leaders and local authorities in their planning for the reopening of schools.
Staff have been working closely with the local authority and colleagues from other schools to formulate a workable and sensible plan that will provide our learners in Years 1 & 2 only with some opportunities to come to school to meet with their teachers. We therefore are not reopening to our Nursery and Reception pupils. Unfortunately, this decision reflects younger children’s’ inability to social distance appropriately. After reviewing the current guidance about social distancing, sadly we do not have sufficient space to bring all year groups back to school.
Over the course of next week, we will formulate the details of our plans and the associated risk assessments. Then, we will provide you with more information about what the catch up sessions will look like. Our priority in this process will be to ensure the safety and well-being of children and staff.
The risks associated with coronavirus have not gone away and we must all be mindful of the need to maintain good hygiene, hand-washing and social distancing. As such, we will have to limit the number of pupils and staff in attendance each day. We will also have to limit the ways in which pupils and staff interact during the course of the school day. These steps will be essential if we are to ensure the safety and wellbeing of learners and staff. It is likely that we will be able to invite no more than a quarter of our pupils and no more than half of our staff into school on any one day. Most pupils should expect to attend school for one day each week. Pupils are likely to be grouped in small groups of no more than 8 and will remain with one teacher and one TA throughout the day.
Understandably, some staff, parents and pupils may feel apprehensive about the risks. However, it is important to remember that, with adherence to guidelines, the risks will be minimised and provision will be safer.
Of course, it will not be safe for some learners and staff to attend, particularly those who have received shielding letters. And under no circumstances should anyone with symptoms of coronavirus come into school. If pupils are not able to attend school – whatever the reason – they will still be able to learn remotely. Indeed, our provision for remote learning will remain the default method and will be maintained for the rest of the academic year. Attending school is intended to enhance this approach.
Currently, some of our pupils (e.g. children of NHS workers) are using our hub provision in Awel-y-Mor. We will continue to maintain this provision for the remainder of the summer term, though we will move it to Our school from Monday 22nd June.
I am aware that after reading this you may have several questions about school reopening. This letter is intended only to alert you to what I think is most likely at present. As planning is developed further, I will be able to provide you with more precise detail. We will, of course, be taking proper account of the guidance issued by the Welsh Government so perhaps a reading of that may provide you with a fuller understanding of what to expect. You can find a copy by clicking the following link. https://gov.wales/keep-education-safe-operational-guidance-schools-and-settings-covid-19
Thank you for your patience during these uncertain times. Please take care and stay safe.
Ms J. Beaumont
Please also see a letter below from Aled Evans, Director of Education, Leisure & Lifelong Learning
Parent Letter 120620 Eng