Thank you for your ongoing patience at this difficult time where we are all facing questions over what this means for our families on a practical basis. This is also amongst the backdrop of worry and concern on what this means to our future wellbeing. It is an anxious and stressful time for everyone to some degree.
As a school we are trying to make more sense of our responsibilities as well as our support for all children and families. I do not wish to criticize the handling of this by any agency service at this time but please appreciate that we are responding to a rapidly changing environment and information we receive is not in advance of information which is available publicity. We are trying to stay ‘ahead of the game’ but as you will see from previous plans and communication with you it is very hard to keep pace.
Please rest assured we will give you information and more importantly answers as seen as we have them for you.
Today is Friday! It will be our last ‘normal’ day in school for quite some time. We will be prioritising our children’s wellbeing and education today. I know this is an uncertain time for them too. It is pretty much business as usual. It is not a time for celebration, nor is it a time for undue tears and worry for our children. I know that all staff support me in a view that it should be calm and happy today. I appreciate your support with this today and at the end of home time.
As a school we have several major things we are working on behind the scenes:
Please be aware that at the centre of this is the government’s intention of slowing the spread of infection and we need to support this as best we can.
There is a weblink Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers which has been made available which will answer many of your questions.
The guidance issued this morning will add a little clarity. You will see that on point 4 it explains who will be counted within this group.
Section 4.2 states the “children with at least one parent/carer who are identified as critical workers by government can send their children to school if required”.
However there is clear guidance on social distancing. The government is asking parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remains open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
“It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school and the fewer educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society”.
“Schools are therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are crucial to COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home”.
(Taken from: Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provisions) 19th March 2020.
With this in mind as well as to minimize the risk to other families and staff we really do urge you to only send your child if you are absolutely unable to safely look after your child at home. We will expect that is you are only working part of the school day or parts of the week that your child is looked after by you at home.
As we move forwards we will be asking you to let us know which times of the week your child will need to attend school.
Children of Key Workers (critical workers)
We will be giving more guidance on how this will work practically once we have confirmed your child’s place within school.
ion ofKeep an eye on your email for an update regarding this, if you are identified as a critical worker.
Please do not send your child to school if you have not received a confirmation email from us that your child is able to attend.
Please forgive us if we challenge your request, we don’t wish to be obstructive or rude but we do need to operate robustly and fairness if this is to be a successful implementation of the government strategy for schools.
Whilst I’m sure a few days away from school and a slower pace of life will be welcome by children (and maybe adults) there will be a time when we need to keep the children busy and to continue with their learning at home in some form.
Today we will be sending an exercise book home for the children to work in. Obviously not all learning will be recorded in their book but we hope the children will take pride and care of it as if it were their school book. You may wish to add your own comments within it and try to encourage them to maintain their own high standards that they are capable of.
This weekend the children may receive their normal homework or their learners may have been kind and let them off without any! – I would encourage at least some reading over the next few days.
We hope that on Monday afternoon/Tuesday morning teachers will be putting on the weeks learning activity ideas for the week. (We will be running a Tuesday – Tuesday week in terms of directing learning).
Please be aware that these activities may not fill the week but can be extended by yourselves if you wish or you can make good use of many of the resources available.
We will give you further help and guidance on how you can support your child’s education at home over the coming weeks but as this is a situation/context we don’t wish to overload you at this point but to support you and your child is making the adjustments needed.
Whilst there is much information for you to digest at this time point and still many questions you may have. I hope this helps in explaining the situation regarding school. More information will be given over the next few days.
Please forgive me if I don’t respond to all emails as quickly as you would like, I hope to cover most queries within the general communication to you.
May I just take a little pause and sincerely thank-you all for your patience and offer of support. All staff have really appreciated the way you have responded to us in our efforts in making sense of this new challenge.
Whilst this will be our last day in school for a while and we may be physically more distant and indeed feel a little more isolated we really hope we can keep some contact with you via email and website and provide some sense of continued Wren Park Community. I’m sure we will all become more creative and IT savvy through this.
In the meantime I would like to offer my usual wishes for you and your family. I hope you are able to relax a little, enjoy sometime together and keep safe and healthy.
Take care of yourselves, family and friends.
Alex Buckley and all the staff at Wren Park.