I am well aware that for many of you the last five months will have been an extremely stressful and difficult time. We have tried to support you as best we could through this unprecedented situation but I am well aware that for many of you this support will have felt completely inadequate at times.
It is for this reason that I am delighted to say that from Tuesday 1st September the school will be open to all students. We are so excited to be welcoming all of our students back to school. It has been so difficult having some children in school and knowing that there are others who would benefit so much from being in school. However, the risk has previously been considered too high to have all the students back in school at one time and we could never be selective in the students we had in school.
It has now been deemed safe enough to have all students back in school. The number of cases of Coronavirus in Redcar and Cleveland has been incredibly low for a concerted period of time and the risk of the virus coming into school is minimal. On top of this there are now stringent track and trace protocols in place so that if we are concerned about a potential infection we can react much more quickly to ensure that the spread of the infection is minimal.
Before your child returns to school I would like to talk through some of the risks, how we are mitigating against them and how you can help us to ensure that we stay as safe as possible.
We have put a copy of the risk assessment on the school website and I would ask you to read this if you have opportunity. However, the main points of the risk assessment are that due to the nature of our school and our students we will not be able to enforce social distancing within classes. We are instead looking at a model of reducing congregations of people, so that if someone does become infected the number of people they will have come into contact with will have been greatly reduced. For this reason playtimes and dinnertimes will be staggered with only one phase at a time occupying the school playground. Dinners will take place within classrooms so that the
hall is not a shared area. There will be increased cleaning taking place to ensure that surfaces are kept sanitised. Certain rooms will only be designated to one phase of school. Assemblies and morning meetings will all be done remotely. We will ensure there is less traffic in the corridors. Bus groups will disembark one group at a time. Students in FE will not access the main building and there will be no visitors to school except those deemed essential to a child’s development.
I would ask you to support school in the following ways:-
Due to the need to reduce large gatherings of students dinner times will take place within classrooms. As a result of this, children will in the short term be provided with a cold packed lunch. However, we are aware of individual dietary requirements and the need in some cases for certain students to receive a hot dinner. Teachers have been working alongside the school catering staff to ensure that every child will receive a dinner that they will eat.
Unfortunately due to the current situation we will not presently be running any after school clubs.
In terms of curriculum we expect to deliver an outstanding, individualised curriculum, unique for each child. We expect this to be underway as soon as we are fully open. We are also mindful of the emotional impact that coronavirus and the lockdown may have had on individuals and we will be operating a recovery curriculum focusing on nurture and support alongside our normal curriculum.
2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for many reasons, but we will endeavour to make sure that the end to 2020 will be memorable for all the right reasons.
We can not wait to reunite with our Kirkleatham family and to start to make fantastic memories and learning opportunities for each and every child.
If you have any worries or concerns in relation to your child returning to school then please do not hesitate to be in touch. I will endeavour to make myself available to speak to you about any reservations you may have and hopefully reassure you of the value that your child attending school brings in terms of enriching their lives through learning socially, emotionally and academically. We know they have missed out on an awful lot of this and we want to try to make up for lost time.
We look forward to welcoming your child back to school on the 1st September.