Letter to parents 14/07/2020
July 14, 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you for your support and patience during this last 4 months I realise it has been a very difficult time for many of you. As you may be aware school has been open every day since February half term, initially to pupils whose parents are keyworkers and also pupils with significant input from social services then to a much wider school population. You may not be aware that during the last two weeks we will have had around 90 pupils in school over the week, or around 50% of the school population, a much greater proportion than many other schools which I feel is a great achievement.
The unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 crisis have been particularly tricky for many of our pupils. School frequently forms an essential part of our children’s and young people’s lives and many have struggled with the change to usual routines and the ‘new normal’, although I do know of a few pupils who have been overjoyed at not having to attend school!
The staff team have been brilliant during this crisis and despite their own concerns have stood together enabling us to safely increase numbers whilst also providing home learning opportunities. A special mention has to go to the caretaking and cleaning team who have been in school every day since the start of the crisis making sure that school is clean and as risk free as possible.
I hope we will return to as normal ‘service’ as possible in September. However, new guidance will necessitate some changes, these will build upon the practices that we have developed over the last four months. A draft risk assessment will be uploaded onto our website in the next few days, it will remain ‘draft’ until new government guidance released on 11th August can be incorporated into it. I do not anticipate many changes to this risk assessment but there could be some, this at least gives you a good idea of what is being put in place in school for September.
Some key areas to be aware of are outlined below;
- Transport – School transport are currently trying to arrange transport reducing interaction across pupil cohorts as much as possible. If your child is usually on school transport you do not have to do anything.
- Pupil drop off – in order to minimise footfall on the yard we are asking for parents who drop their children off at school to drive onto the turning circle at school no earlier than 9.15am and pick up no earlier than 3.15pm (2.15pm Friday). This will enable us to get pupils onto buses and taxis before parents arrive on the turning circle. Please do not wait on School Avenue, as you know this gets very congested and could bring the whole operation to a standstill! Being a bit late is preferable to being early in this instance. If you walk from home with your child to school please continue to do this.
- Phase Bubbles – Each class at Cleaswell is part of a Phase group made up of 3 or 4 classes. As our class sizes are small the size of a phase can vary between 25 – 40 pupils (some mainstream schools are having ‘bubbles’ of 100 or more children). Most of our younger and more complex pupils are very much classed based, however, some of pupils, whose understanding of social distancing is more developed, will still move around specialist class rooms and have more interaction with other members of their phase at particular times e.g. breaktime/lunchtime. We will also have zoned areas for each phase at break time and lunchtime. By restricting interaction across the school’s population potential risks will be reduced.
The now usual emphasis on the importance of handwashing and enhanced cleaning around school will also be taking place.
The risk assessment and any other updates will be posted on our Facebook page and website so please check these during the holidays.
On behalf of all the staff at Cleaswell Hill thank you for your support during this last year, have a restful summer and we look forward to welcoming your children back to Cleaswell Hill in September.