Earlier today, the Prime Minister addressed parliament about the re-opening of schools. He announced that:
- Schools will not be reopening directly after February half term.
- A review will take place on 22nd February.
- The earliest reopening will therefore be Monday 8th March (the details of what this might look like are to be confirmed/determined.)
- This will be entirely dependent on the vaccine programme (and analysis of subsequent data).
I am guessing that this will not come as a surprise to most of us, especially with the news that yesterday England passed the awful milestone of 100,000 Covid related deaths. With the data being reported such as it is, it is not an unexpected announcement. However, I am sorry that it will be longer before we are able to have students back in the building. A school without students feels entirely wrong and I am sure that, as much as some of elements are online, remote learning is good and may suit students in some ways but children would generally far rather be back in school too.
In terms of what this means for us as a school community, we have set our remote learning offer up to be sustainable and we have no intention of deviating from what we are already providing. An overwhelming majority of you reported that you were happy with how we are delivering the curriculum online. There are things we need to do to improve, especially with respect to providing students (and yourselves) with feedback, both directly related to learning and also in regard to students’ engagement in learning. We will continue to work on this over the coming days and weeks. The information from the survey you returned will be shared with you shortly and it is hoped that this will provide you with the information you feel would be helpful as we move forward.
Our routines for supporting students and families are also well established and I understand from feedback that they are appreciated. This too will continue and, as always, we would encourage you to contact us if we can help. Your child’s year leader should be the first point of contact for this. We will continue to celebrate students’ efforts and success, albeit from a distance and we are always interested in your feedback.
While this announcement will no doubt bring forth a range of different emotions, I would like to thank you for your support in promoting to your child(ren) the importance of learning and engaging with the remote provision. When students do return, we want to ensure there are no gaps, in order for all students to achieve their full potential. School may not currently be in the form of classrooms in a building, but the classrooms are still there virtually, to give students the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills that they need to succeed. For now, we need to keep routines established.
Many thanks and best wishes to you all.
Mrs J Veal