Thank you to parents & staff
Our first half-term ends with no confirmed cases of coronavirus, no bubble closures and pupils being offered as much of our curriculum and opportunities as we possibly can. Since 1 June, when schools re-opened, we have now worked for 100 days without any confirmed infection. Thanks:
- to every parent who has worked with us to socially distance at drop-off and collection, using preferred gates wherever possible. It would help if even more Year 5 pupils walk to and from school alone, even if part-way.
- to families who have taken a cautious approach to protect our class bubbles, talking to us when children have shown coronavirus symptoms and telling us about test results.
- to parents for balancing sending children to school while keeping a cautious approach. This generation cannot miss out on the education they need to fulfil their choice of life's opportunities.
- to families for using Microsoft Teams with us in lots of different ways including parent consultation meetings and class sharing assemblies - children love seeing your comments posted. We know 19 children need support to use technology at home and we can use government grants to help them if they self-isolate or a bubble closes. We are ready to switch to learning at home using Teams when a pupil, group or bubble needs to self-isolate.
- to every member of staff, including many who have overcome their own vulnerability and anxieties about being at work during the pandemic. They are working tirelessly to care for pupils, help some catch-up while stretching and challenging others. All the time, juggling competing priorities to help pupils learn while having to work in different ways. Their commitment to our pupils, each other and our school is exceptional.
Rates of infection continue to rise in Ealing. Next half-term will be more challenging with increasing likelihood of confirmed coronavirus cases in school, groups of children and/or bubbles being sent home to self-isolate. Primary schools closing fully looks unlikely according to government's published intent and speeches by ministers.
Looking ahead to the next half-term:
- Working safely and minimising the chance of coronavirus infection being transmitted in school continues to be our top priority. This means we stay fully open for as long as we can. Being in school is first-best for pupils' learning and teachers' workload. We've worked with all staff to review and adjust our risk assessment, including learning from local schools who have been forced to send 'bubbles' home. We are clearer about when staff wear a face-covering while working in school and have increased emphasis on room ventilation. Rooms will be colder as winter weather comes. Pupils and staff are encouraged to wear more underlayers.
- Teachers continue to focus on phonics, reading, writing and maths. We know pupils are catching-up, gaps in learning are closing. Gains in Reception and phonics in Year 3 are notable examples. Quality assurance work for reading and maths shows that the consistency and quality of teaching has never been higher.
- Lunchtime service is too slow, due to higher cleaning standards and the need to keep class and year group bubbles separate. We will appoint 4 new lunchtime supervisors to speed things up and build stronger relationships with pupils in each class.
- New arrangements start for morning break and lunchtimes because the field is too wet and muddy to use. All play moves to the playground. Pupils continue to play in classes, organised into year group rotating zones so that we reduce the risk of infection transmission.
- Pupils' behaviour and attitudes are improving but remain below our standards. We return after half-term with a focus on consistent expectations, based on our Values-based ethos and behaviour routines. Pupils in Year 1 and 2 also need to develop better learning behaviours matched to the school's Visible Learning approach and meta-cognition so that they know where they are, where they are going next and how to get there in their learning.
- Wrap around care, before and after-school, will continue to work safely in separate year group bubbles. Uptake continues to be low for Breakfast club, resulting in a new offer and fewer staff after half-term.
- Specialist clubs continue with a reduced Autumn term menu of activities. We will start planning our Spring term offer, working with providers to offer the same or more while keeping the risk of infection transmission low.
We wish you a happy, healthy and safe half-term break.