As I’m sure you know, the government has announced that on Friday evening all schools will closefor the majority of children. This closure is described as for the foreseeable future. With the cancellation of SATS tests, GCSE & A level exams we can assume we are likely to remain closed for the rest of this academic year.
Unfortunately, at the moment, the announcement raises more questions than it answers and until we gain some clarity from both the government and the LA we are unable to move forwards with planning fully.
Now although we know that school will close on Friday for the majority of pupils. Schools will, however, be expected to provide day care, support for children of key workers (yet to be defined) and children with EHCPs, children with a social worker. It is unknown currently what numbers of key worker children we have in each school and whether for some of the groups attendance is optional or statutory. It is also unclear whether every school is required to offer this provision or if there will be localised hubs, identified by the LA, offering this provision to pupils from several schools, again this is yet to be determined.
These unprecedented times will call for extra special measures, flexibility, optimism and resilience from all: parents and teachers alike. We as schools, are being asked to work in ways that we have never had to previously. I am confident that we will adjust to these new expectations quickly: we have a team of dedicated, talented and resilient staff.I know our teams will pull together and approach this challenge with positivity and determination, We will endeavor to do all we can to provide ongoing support for learning in addition to rising to the challenge of providing day care in each of our schools as required.
We are ready and able to offer learning via: packs, the school website, existing web based apps, and Passport to Learning Projects. Your children will bring these home with them on Friday and they will also be posted on individual school websites. We will regularly update the website and respond to emails offering individual support as required.
As this situation unfolds, I am sure there will be many challenges to overcome not least remaining positive and optimistic. On our school websites we will be posting links to a range of resources to support families, pupils in maintaining positive mental health in the face of the unknown. If you require additional support please do make contact with the HT at each of the schools and we will do our very best to support you further as required. We will all be accessing emails so please do raise queries as required.
Finally, today, Thursday and Friday must be all about our Y6 pupils, as potentially these days will be their final days at our schools.....reread that.
Headteachers will be leading Y6 leaver assemblies. We will give them time to speak with staff, share their feelings, time with their friends and we will say goodbye to them.
Like us I am sure many of you are feeling numb/shell shocked at the situation we are all facing. Be there for each other and your families. This is a tough time for all of us.
Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time of uncertainty.
CEO of the Island Learning trust