Weekly Bulletin:Friday 26th June 2020
Messages for children at home
It’s now been three long months since you last had a normal day at school, so I wanted to give you three really simple messages this week.
Firstly, we miss you! We are so looking forward to welcoming you back into school as soon as we can.
Secondly, stay positive. Be kind to your family (home schooling isn’t easy for them either) and everyone you meet online or in the real world. Now that some of the lockdown rules are changing, hopefully you have been able to meet some friends or family outside.
Thirdly, keep learning as much as you can. We have just a few weeks left in this school year before we move onto our new classes – the next steps in your learning adventure. Everyone at Tunbury is so proud of you and your new teachers can’t wait to meet you.
Headteacher’s message for parents/carers
Despite this week’s sweltering temperatures, children in school have remained positive, adaptable and a complete pleasure to teach. For those learning at home, children and teachers have also enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect online. It’s been lovely to see so many smiley Tunbury faces, either in person or online, and we are very much looking forward to the time when we can welcome everyone back into school.
Following the government’s recent announcements, things are looking more hopeful for a more ‘normal’ return to school for all of our children in September. In the meantime, we are planning our transition activities for children, including our new starters in next year’s Reception classes. We’re looking forward to seeing our new Reception parents at Monday’s online meetings (at 4.00 for everyone and 4.30 for individual classes). Current restrictions mean that children’s transition activities will also be online rather than face-to-face, but there will be an opportunity for all children to meet their new teacher in a group online session before the end of term.
Ahead of the return to school in September, we can now confirm that Tunbury will not remain open in any capacity over the summer holiday period. Although we did remain open throughout the earlier stages of the pandemic to provide ‘holiday club’ childcare for our critical key worker families, we cannot sustain this level of provision any further. Due to the easing of lockdown restrictions, it should now be possible for families to return to a more usual pattern of childcare during the summer holidays, meaning that school support is no longer needed.
When we do return to school in September, everyone at Tunbury will be focussing on making up for lost time in our children’s education. This will include some changes to our curriculum and in-school support, as well as making use of any government initiatives available to us. You may have heard about the £1 billion government ‘catch-up package’ to support children who have lost time in education due to the Covid-19 outbreak – we will be keen to make use of this funding as soon as it becomes available.
In school this week, we have been planning for our final expansion of the number of teaching groups for Year R, 1 and 6 and key workers/vulnerable children, which will increase from 15 bubbles this week to 17 bubbles next week. As a result, we now have the vast majority of our teaching staff working in school, leaving a minority of teachers still working from home and leading the home schooling provision. As ever, we continue to do our very best to balance the provision in school and at home, while working within government requirements and prioritising the safety of our children, families and staff.
For example, continuing to offer a school place to every eligible child means that we are meeting government expectations, but current restrictions mean high staff:pupil ratios in school, with very little flexibility. At the same time, continuing to offer tailored online home learning, including pre-recorded and live video lessons, means that we are exceeding government expectations in this area, but even despite this, learning cannot match the quality of a normal school day. All of this constitutes an unprecedented operational challenge for us all - every member of the Tunbury team is working hard to play their part now, whilst also recognising the huge amount of work ahead of us next academic year.
Thank you to parents/carers who responded to our ‘last call’ for entry into Year R, 1 and 6 classes this week – as a result, we have created two new teaching groups from Monday and can confirm that this provision is now closed to new starters. We have a very limited amount of space remaining for children of key workers – as before, please email the school office on email@example.com by 5pm on Wednesday for attendance starting the following Monday. As usual, please continue to contact us at school if you have any questions or concerns regarding any aspects of your children’s education.
For parents/carers of children learning at home, please see the notices sections below for detail on the scheduling of live sessions and the collection of children’s belongings from school.
Thank you for your continued support. Have a lovely weekend everyone - please take care of yourselves and your families.
Live sessions via Microsoft Teams: Following a second week of live sessions, as with any new technology, it has been useful to have some feedback from parents/carers regarding these. Below is a timetable for you for when the sessions will be and we shall endeavour to keep to this and advise you in advance of any changes, should they be required. Due to numbers attending, some year groups only require two sessions now. The subject area for each session will be included in the email you receive with the link to join the session.
Collecting belongings: To allow children’s belongings to be collected before the end of term we will be placing any remaining PE bags and belongings from trays on tables at the front of the school. We will make our best endeavours to make sure all their belongings are together. There will be two days allocated for each year group and classes will be labelled. Please feel free to come and collect the items any time before 3.30pm on your set day, although we ask if possible to avoid the busy drop off and collection times. We also ask that you maintain social distancing guidance when on site.
Year 5 Tuesday 30/6/20 and Wednesday 1/7/20
Year 4 Thursday 2/7/20 and Friday 3/7/20
Year 3 Monday 6/7/20 and Tuesday 7/7/20
Year 2 Wednesday 8/7/20 and Thursday 9/7/20
Year 1 Monday 13/7/20 and Tuesday 14/7/20
Year R Wednesday 15/7/20 and Thursday 16/7/20
Stay alert: Please remember that to keep everyone safe, we still need to follow the national guidance issued by the government. Most importantly, remember that no-one should come to school if they have symptoms of Covid-19, which are the recent onset of any of the following:
• A new continuous cough
• A high temperature
• A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
This applies to everyone – children, staff and parents/carers. If a child in school displays any of these symptoms, we would move them away from others and contact you to come into school to collect them immediately. We would also follow current advice from Public Health England on our next steps.