Full Opening - Monday 8th March
I am confident we are ready to have all our 480 pupils back in school from Monday 8th March, safely and securely, as we did up until 4th January this year.
We have all the control measures in place, as they were last term, plus a couple of updates:
- Staff now have voluntary twice-weekly asymptomatic LFD tests available
- Staff and adults are strongly advised to wear face coverings in communal areas, and
- Trips and visits are banned for now.
We have good ventilation in all areas children use. We have a robust and tested method for keeping ‘bubbles’ apart. Our staffing is resilient. We have enhanced cleaning in place, with extra cleaner hours and everyone of us wiping what we use. We spread out – with extra playtimes, four sittings for lunch and tables placed apart in classrooms. We leave extraneous items at home – no unneeded bags or personal items come into school. We wash our hands, often and well, with soap and water and then dry them thoroughly.
There are a few things we cannot control, and they do worry me a little.
I hope that we will not see an undue ‘gathering’ at the gate at either end of the school day. We need parents to avoid all coming at 08:35, for when the gates open. We have a separate gate for Year 3 but we do not want to see 360 other children trying to come on site all at the same time. I hope we will see parents remembering to maintain the expected 2 meters-plus social distancing at the end of the school day. We could try to apply a formal stagger but it is too complex to work well, due to siblings within and without school.
I am worried about what sort of remote learning we may be able to provide if we have no staff to deliver it – all our staff will be teaching classes.
I worry that the demand for tuition or catch-up activities will outstretch our ability to provide it. Firstly, the demand may not actually reflect need (there has to be assessment), and secondly we will have a limited budget for this work. We are starting immediately, with much to be achieved in the four weeks until Easter (not three weeks as the bbc has just said).
What we don’t know about falls in to Donald Rumsfeld’s known and unknown categories quite nicely. I know we do not know how many further isolations there will be, how engaged some pupils will be, whether every child will be back full-time, how the vaccination process will support or impact on staffing availability, and the level of planned staff absence. I can get some sort of a plan for this; it’s the unexpected we will have to deal with as it arises.
So; it’ll be great to see everyone for real tomorrow. Please stay away from school if you should be isolating. Please catch the coughs and sneezes. Please continue to wash your hands well and often. And please follow social distancing guidance.
See you tomorrow.
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