Following on from my last update, I’m now writing to let you know that we have been instructed to close the school to almost all children after this Friday until further notice.
As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers (e.g. NHS staff, police, others in frontline services) and children with certain needs, including those with an EHC plan.
Please note that we will only be able to make provision for pupils who fall into these two criteria. There will be no exceptions. We realise that this may be inconvenient for some parents/carers, but we are unable to make individual arrangements in the interests of fairness, consistency and of course minimising social contact. Please be considerate and do not put us in a difficult position by asking us to accommodate your child if they do not fulfil the criteria.
We are likely to have fewer staff ourselves so will be ensuring adequate staffing to provide supervision and care for children who do attend, for as long as we can. This means that we will not be running a normal timetable. As indicated by the Secretary of State, schools will be providing care, not education.
Therefore, we will need to know in advance and within a very short time period which children we will have in school. If you are intending to send your child in during this period of closure, please complete the attached sheet and send it in to school, or telephone/email Ami Rathmill on 01227 464134 (firstname.lastname@example.org ), with all the details requested (even if you are currently self -isolating). This will need to be with us by tomorrow (Friday 20th March) at 1pm at the latest, as I am sure you can appreciate we have very little time to organise arrangements.
Once we receive that information, we will check against our guidelines and let you know whether your child meets the criteria. If you indicate that your child will attend and this changes for any reason, please let us know. We will also continue to provide hot meals for the time being. Normal arrangements will apply.
All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards.
Please note that this is a national closure – as you may have heard in the news – so while it is a challenging situation, we are not alone. We’ll re-open fully as soon as we can and will let you know when this is via the website and Facebook.
What we’ll continue doing while your child is at home:
Your child’s learning is of course important to us, so we’ll continue to help your child to learn.
As detailed in a previous letter:
Each child will be issued with a Home Learning exercise book and a list of activities to do. Should you run out of work, there will be an email address for you to contact us during normal school hours to request further work (email@example.com) . We will endeavour to get back to you as soon as we can, but please bear in mind that we are all still working and some staff may be absent; your patience is appreciated. Please also consult the school website (www.wincheap.kent.sch.uk) or the official school Facebook page for access to work resources and any relevant information. The appropriate website pages will be under the Children tab and Class Newsletters, along with the Wincheap TV page, where some teachers may upload learning videos in due course to support your child. News surrounding the school will be found on the website under the Parent tab and Latest News.
Safeguarding and other urgent concerns:
There may be a need for parents/carers, pupils or staff members to urgently contact the Pastoral Manager about safeguarding issues or other pressing matters during the closure. Please contact Mrs Amanda Cole on firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning the school number as indicated below.
If your child usually receives free school meals we will also be in touch in due course with more information about support from a scheme that the government has just announced.
What we won’t be able to go ahead with:
• Breakfast or after-school clubs
• SATs tests in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
• Phonics Screening in Year 1
• Multiplication Tables Checking in Year 4
• Sending out reports and assessment data at the current time
• All school events eg any planned trips, showcase moments, Easter Bonnet parade (even for children continuing to attend).
This is as much as we know right now and we appreciate your continued patience as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.
If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please don’t hesitate to do so via email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or on the school telephone number 01227 464134. Our local vicar, Barney DeBerry has also kindly offered to be available should anyone wish to talk to him on Vicar@smb.org.uk .
Please remember also that if you or your child feels unwell and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online.
Thank you again for your continued support. We will be in touch with more information when we can.
Yours sincerely, Nicola Dawson