15 May

Welcome back to another blog during this time of Covid. I have a very important message for you from Graham in light of the government’s announcements this week:

As you will be aware, this week the government has announced the aspiration for more children, in mainstream schools, to return to school sites.  Mainstream schools will be expected to support more children, in years R, YR1 and YR6 from the 1st June.  The guidance for all our schools is different and outlined below.

In relation to Special Schools, the government state:

‘Special schools, special post-16 institutions and hospital schools will work towards a phased return of more children and young people without a focus on specific year groups.’

Special Schools are not expected to work to the same timelines as mainstream schools.  Many of our children have additional and specific needs that need to be particularly considered.   I can assure you that eventual safe re-opening of our schools continues to be our aim – but we need your support to co-produce these next steps.

We have spent the past few weeks working on a comprehensive strategy that relates to our ‘New Schooling’ offer, how this might look and how this will impact children, families and staff. We are hoping that by next Wednesday, we will be in a position to contact all of our families to consult upon this strategy and to get your collective views on how we move forward as a community. It has never been more important to work together to ensure that we get this right for our children.

We will however ensure that our children and young people continue to access our outstanding and personalised virtual learning offer. The Trust is working tirelessly to ensure that any decisions made for the future are the safe and right decisions for our staff, children and young people. Ultimately, our overarching priority continues to be that:

“We will maintain and secure the health and safety of every single child, young person and member of staff.”

We currently continue to have a very small number of young people attending schools that are children of key workers and these arrangements will continue. We are well aware that many other families are experiencing particular challenges. The last thing we want to do is place families under more pressure.  We’ve got to keep you, our children and staff safe.

Take care,

Graham

Let’s see what Ellie has been enjoying this week. Ellie has enjoyed playing football, table tennis and frizbie with Mr Stewart and Mr Hopkins this week in the hub.

As I sit here writing this to you all as a Mum not just as your Head Teacher, I would like to reassure all parents and caregivers that we are probably sharing some of the same emotions right now. All I will say on that is you have my number and if any of you need a chat, please pick up the phone. As ever, it is lovely to speak to you when I do my ‘safe and well’ checks.

I would also like to reassure you that during this time of working in a very different way, our staff and I have been working as hard as ever virtually to plan for suitable intervention work to support our students’ mental health needs.

We will have all experienced a range of emotions and I know as Mum of George this has been very trying, rewarding yet difficult at times. Our young people will get the best package of support on their return to school whenever that maybe. I have written a programme to support students with anxiety around transition, anxiety and stress management for returning to school, support processing feelings and emotions that they might not be able to verbalise or tell us about. Rest assured, I have put lots of thought into this and I am very sure that the students will benefit greatly from it.

On that note, please stay alert and home where possible, limiting your contact with others and safely social distancing. A reminder that the free school meal vouchers will go out next Friday. For our families celebrating Eid next weekend please remember that during this time of celebration to maintain your social distancing.

Happy Weekend everyone,

Miss Rodgers
Head of Site

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