Dear Parents and Carers
I hope everyone is well, you are doing an amazing job with all your children whilst they are away from school. I am sorry things are more challenging and may feel disorganised at the moment, it is not our intention. We are trying the follow the government advice to open up to the school to wider groups, however it is not a simple process. Guidance is constantly changing and actually limits what we can achieve in school. I can assure you that the whole team at Upperby School are working hard to ensure children return in a safe manner.
The government guidelines indicate that classes should be no more than 15, however due to the sizes of our classrooms we are only able to accommodate a maximum of 10 children in most. We are also limited by the number of toilets in school and the corridor spaces. Classrooms are also being used to store additional furniture from other classrooms. We have worked to ensure that we can have as many children back as possible in a safe environment.
Key Worker Children
We have been open every day, including holidays, for key worker children and this has been a highly effective provision. Spaces are now very limited. If you would like to apply for a Key Worker Place, please telephone the school office or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Parents need to be aware that places can’t be held for later in the term due to the pressure of places currently needed.
YEAR 6 RETURN
We were delighted to see many of our Year 6 children return for taster sessions last week and look forward to seeing them in school each week from now on. Parents must remember to telephone school if their child is not able to attend school and provide a reason. Please telephone before 9.30am to report an absence. The children are in fixed groups to minimise contact with other children in school and it is not possible to mix children from different groups to rearrange groups when parents request a place. Please appreciate how we have to organise groups and recognise that we might not be able to accommodate new requests or there may be a delay in starting.
Please can I remind parents not to wait around the school gate chatting to other parents, this increases the risk of infection, please ensure you maintain social distancing.
YEAR 1 RETURN
We have contacted all year 1 parents regarding return to school. The response has been very positive. The Year 1 groups have now been organised and parents will receive a letter about taster sessions this week and about starting the week beginning 22nd June. If you have not responded and now require a place, please be patient, the children are in fixed groups and we have to ensure we have space to accept more children.
RECEPTION AND NURSERY RETURN
We have considered all possibilities of the reception and nursery children returning to school. Our school building makes it very difficult to segregate groups, especially in the reception corridor. We already have a large group of children attending early years as part of our Key worker group. At this moment in time the school is not able to offer places for reception and nursery children to return to school. This has not been an easy decision to make, however I have always said that it has to be a safe environment for the children to return too. I know that some parents will be angry or disappointed, however our priority has always been the safety of the children and the staff.
ALL OTHER YEAR GROUPS
We will continue to support children if parents have chosen not to return to school alongside all our other year groups. Studyladder is our on-line learning platform, please support your child in completing the tasks set. Teachers review the work completed. Teachers will continue with contact phone calls every two- three weeks. It is vital that school makes contact with the children so we are able to support. Please keep looking at the website home learning pages for additional activities to complete.
Changes to Free School Meals Provision in school
Alongside guidance for opening schools wider, we have been given further guidance on provision of free school meals. From 15th June packed lunches will be provided. Please collect the meals from the infant playground – please use the Nursery Road gate. If you are shielding or have a medical reason which prevents you from collecting your packed lunch, please contact school and we will make arrangements to drop them off.
School arrangements for September
We have yet to be given any guidance about school attendance in September. This is very frustrating because we want to plan and ensure parents and children are clear about what will be happening in September. Parents are asking about the class their child will be going into and if there will be any transition. I understand parents’ frustration about not knowing what is happening, however we are also just as frustrated. I can assure you that our plans will have the needs of the children at the very heart of all our decisions. I am very aware that children left school in March very quickly and they will have had no transition into their new year groups. We will be working to ensure that whatever the guidance provided, we will support our children as much as possible. I will be letting parents know as soon as we have clear plans.
Please remember we have book swap every Thursday 1pm – 3pm. It is our favourite time of the week when we can see our Upperby Family and catch up with lots of families. Please bring back the books that the children came home with in March and change it for a different book.
If you would like to order any school uniform items, please use the SCOPAY system. We will text you to arrange a specific collection time.
Please remember the school is open and we are here to support all our families, even if your child/ren is/are not currently attending school. I can only help if you let me know that you need support. We have tried to stay in touch with all the children. We have a few families who do not respond to any of our contacts, please ensure you stay in touch with your class teacher. Please do not hesitate to telephone if you have any concerns or feel we can support more during this challenging time. The school website is how we send out any new information, please ensure your keep having a look, it also has lots of pictures of children’s home learning.
We send virtual hugs to all our families. We hope you continue to stay safe and we look forward to the day we meet again all together in school.
Mrs J Hodgkins