29th January 2021
Dear Parents & Carers,
Reopening of School
The Prime Minister has announced that it will not be possible to resume face-to-face learning immediately after the February half-term and instead hopes that it will be safe to commence the re-opening of schools and colleges from Monday 8 March. This is in response to the national public health data and pressure on NHS capacity.
If the government achieves its target of vaccinating everyone in the four most vulnerable groups with their first dose by 15th February, then those groups will have developed immunity from the virus around three weeks later, which is by 8th March. It is for this reason that the government hope it will therefore be safe to commence the reopening of schools from Monday 8th March.
Education settings, as well as students, parents and carers will be given at least two weeks’ notice to prepare for a return to face-to-face education.
I can confirm that all families entitled to FSM support will continue to receive this support and the current voucher system will be extended.
Remote Learning & Wellbeing Survey
I want to thank all parents and carers once again for doing as best as you can in extremely challenging circumstances. As a parent of two, I am quite aware of the work involved with children at home all day ensuring that they are engaged and learning and it is very difficult.
It is always my preference and the preference of my staff that we can get back to normal face-to-face learning and we hope that the government can make this happen by the 8th March if it is safe to do so. For now, the remote learning provision of live sessions for juniors and Seesaw for the infants and early years will remain in place until pupils return to face-to-face learning in school. We will continue to keep in contact with our pupils through these sessions and in some cases, through direct phone calls.
I continue to encourage all pupils to take a minimum of a 5 to 10 minute break from their screens during each lesson to get a drink or to simply have a comfort break. There should also be a 10-minute break between lessons and again, this is an opportunity to walk away from the screen.
We are pleased with the provision that we have provided in remote learning so far, and with the positive feedback, we have received from both pupils and parents. However, we are also clear that we constantly evolve and improve our provision too. I’m pleased to say that we will be trialing a short live session with our reception class today and if all goes well, we will try to roll this out within our infants allowing St Wilfrids as a whole school to have more virtual face-to-face sessions.
Testing in Schools
On the 25th January, the government recommended the rollout of testing staff within primary schools twice a week. On Wednesday we commenced our home testing and will continue to do this. However, we do ask parents to be reminded that bubbles within school could close at short notice due to changing circumstances when test results are received due to any asymptomatic members of staff.
I will write to you again at the end of the half term by Friday 12th February but I will also contact you before that date with any additional announcements that come to light.
Please remember that we are here to help and to contact school if need, stay safe.
Mrs G O’Brien