On Becoming The Grinch

We are having a school Christmas tree – all booked for delivery, and going up in the hall so every child can see it at lunch every day in December.

We aren’t having a Christmas performance – not at St. John’s, Ranmoor, or in school, because we cannot bring parents in to watch or pull all those ‘bubbles’ together to rehearse and perform (and we don’t have the time or tech support to do such a thing digitally and remotely).

We will have school Christmas dinner – we’ve been having a hot meal service ever since ‘lockdown’ started, and the usual higher than average (for Sheffield) meal take-up. It makes no difference to the meal service but we may need to stretch the timings that day to make it work safely.

We cannot host Year Group Christmas parties – just as parents cannot be hosting sleepovers or Play Dates – because we cannot take the (against guidance) risk by making excess contacts and having ‘bubbles’ mixing at school – or individuals in groups of any size outside it. We’ll play in class, we’ll sing songs (quietly) and watch a Christmas movie, maybe with a plate of food we each bring in to enjoy.

We will be, as always, in school to the end of term – we have had average attendance this term a full 10% ahead of national average and children are making good progress; we want it to continue right through. Unless told to we will not be closing early or opening later in January.

We cannot, ridiculous as it may seem, have our annual Christmas Post service – for it is normally run by Year 6 Monitors who collect, sort and hand deliver to all 16 classes. But as that would have all those people handling the cards and then stepping into every classroom space and ‘bubble’ we must reduce the risk – and the only way short of instigating a 72 hour quarantine for the cards is to not run the post service. Single cards to the whole class this year.

We will be delighted to see Christmas jumpers being worn in the last week of term – I expect there will be some new and ironic slogans being worn.

The Risk Assessment tells schools how to handle gifts in Covid-19 safety – modestly, gratefully and at distance of course, and left with minimum touches.

The next steps after the national lockdown are as yet unknown to us, but we hope to celebrate the coming season in good form, and that families will do the same over the holiday.

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